Improving adolescent lives in the Palestinian society through promoting equitable development and participation of adolescent girls and boys by focussing on the
development of long term policies that promote and monitor adolescents health, protection, development and participation promotion of acquisition of life skills among adolescents especially those essential in the Palestinian context such as: coping with stress, communication, critical thinking, decision making, empathy, interpersonal skills; creation of opportunities to adolescents to be active agents of change in their communities
Situation of Adolescents in Occupied Palestinian Territory
Since 28 September 2000 and until 19 December 2001, the number of children under 18 years of age killed has reached 179 and the number injured has become more than 7000. All children are exposed in some form to increased psychological stress as a result of the violence, closures, restrictions and economic hardship that are part of their daily lives. Eighty percent (80%) of parents have noticed that their children’s behaviour in the last years has changed. Children and adolescents have had limited opportunities for to express their views, restrictions on mobility and lack of security meant that children especially girls have fewer prospects to play, socialize and to participate in social and cultural activities. Adolescents are among the least pessimistic of all age groups, and approximately half remain optimistic about the future. The current conflict heightens the devastating effect on Palestinian children socially and psychologically
The project ‘Improving Adolescent Lives in the Palestinian Society’ enabled UNICEF and their partners to respond not only to the regular developmental needs of adolescents, but also to particular needs generated or exacerbated by the crisis i.e. psychological and social distress and protection from violence.
In the area of advocacy, UNICEF working with Government and NGO partners focuses rights based declaration for Summer Camps, leads the process on Adolescent Policy, first in Palestine and facilitates media programmes on adolescents to raise awareness on rights and express their opinions, views and perception. Pilot initiatives on peer to peer counseling as a follow up to Garca Marchel report, lifeskills based education into the education curricular and adolescent led small scale projects “Adolescents ….For a Change” are key strategies for empowering adolescents including girls with information, skills and services within the overall context of participation and development.
Coordination between UNICEF and UNFPA has been extremely valuable in terms of ensuring comprehensiveness and complementarity in responding to the needs of the Palestinian adolescents.UNICEF’s support focused on the provision of opportunities for adolescents to peacefully participate in community development and to empower them with life skills that enable them to deal with everyday situations; whereas UNFPA’s support focused on the provision of quality sexual and reproductive health information and education. Both the organization jointly worked on the development of baseline data on the situation of Palestinian adolescents and on reaching a national consensus on indicators for monitoring.
National implementing organization:
Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy, Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation, Community Training Center and Crisis Management.
Associated implementing partner: UNICEF and UNFPA
Indicators to monitor trends in the situation of adolescent girls and boys supported by National Policy for Youth
Key principles and strategies in place for Summer Camps
Media strategy to raise the positive profile of adolescents
Quality of services and information
Life-skills based education in mainstream education system
Adolescent led small-scale projects and children parliaments to enhance youth participation and mobilisation
Setting up of peer to peer counselling initiative