UNICEF and the UN Human Rights office call for greater protection from domestic violence for children in the State of Palestine

by Etona Ekole, UNICEF Special Representative to the State of Palestine ad interim, and James Heenan, Head of the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory

15 July 2020

EAST JERUSALEM, 15 July 2020 – “UNICEF and the UN Human Rights office were shocked to learn of an incident in the Gaza Strip last week in which a child was killed by a family member in a grave act of domestic violence. Other recent cases of domestic violence against Palestinian children have also involved extremely serious sexual assault. UNICEF and the UN Human Rights office condemn domestic violence against children in all its forms.


“Children have a right to a childhood free from violence, and the ultimate right to life. It is paramount that the Government of the State of Palestine and the de facto authorities in the Gaza Strip put in place strong protection mechanisms and effective safeguards for children. This starts with a zero-tolerance approach to violence against children in any shape or form, irrespective of whether that violence occurs inside the home or family-environment or outside the home, for example, in schools. 


“Those who perpetrated this outrageous act last week must be held to account using formal mechanisms compliant with international standards. Informal mechanisms are not appropriate for dealing with such serious crimes”.







The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights) is the leading UN entity on human rights. The General Assembly entrusted both the High Commissioner and her Office with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. The United Nations human rights programme aims to ensure that the protection and enjoyment of human rights is a reality in the lives of all people. UN Human Rights also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the integrity of the three interconnected pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, human rights and development.


For media inquiries, please contact:


Mousa Khalil

OHCHR in the occupied Palestinian territory

Email: mkhalil@ohchr.org


Media contacts

Damian Rance
Chief of Communication & Advocacy
UNICEF - State of Palestine
Tel: +97225840400


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