© UNICEF oPt/2009/Halawani
Children and their families live in an environment increasingly characterised by violence, poverty and insecurity.
A total of 1,475 Palestinian children were in the conflict with Israel since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000 until January 2009, and thousands more have been injured.
The overall protective environment for children throughout oPt requires considerable strengthening. Protection systems and services are fragmented, child protection specialists are few and community and family protective abilities are being constantly eroded.
One result of the deteriorating living conditions is greater tension within the home and a higher incidence of domestic violence. In a 2006 study, 53.3 per cent of mothers in the West Bank and 48.5 per cent in Gaza revealed that one of their children aged 5-17 years old had been exposed to violence during the previous year in the home, school and the street.
UNICEF and its partners are working to build a protective environment for children and will continue to:
- Support the establishment of a national framework for child protection that outlines laws, policies, systems and services, and resource needs;
- Promote a culture of zero-tolerance towards abuse, exploitation and violence against children in schools and in society as a whole;
- Promote the awareness of, and adherence to the child rights convention, including preventing and responding to grave violations against children as recognised in UN SC Resolution 1612;
- Build the capacity of partners working in child protection, focusing on front line workers such as social workers, police and members of the judiciary;
- Support parents and their ability to protect children;
- Provide psychosocial support for children and caregivers and train psychosocial professionals and volunteers on crisis intervention, management and referral;
- Support awareness-raising campaigns on risk of UXOs, Explosive Remnants of War and Small Arms and Light Weapons.