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Strip search

A majority of minors are strip searched on arrival at an Israeli Prison Service (IPS) facility. In some cases, minors also report being strip searched earlier on at a military base or police station in the West Bank. In some cases strip searches are conducted in the presence of a group of soldiers and generally minors report feeling humiliated by the experience. In one case a minor reports being threatened with a beating if he did not strip naked. 

In February 2013, UNICEF recommended that strip searches should be carried out only under exceptional circumstances and used only as a last resort. When conducted, strip searches should be done with full respect for the dignity of the minor and be conducted by more than one person of the same gender as the minor, in the presence of a parent, guardian or other responsible adult, wherever possible. The strip search should be done in a private location and should not involve the removal of all garments at the same time.
 
In response to UNICEF’s recommendation, the IPS clarified that all detainees, including children, are strip-searched by a person of the same gender each time they arrive to a detention facility and each time they are transferred (upon departure and return). The rules for strip-searches in IPS detention facilities equally apply to adults and children, both in the West Bank and Israel. Meanwhile, the Israeli police clarified that cases of strip-searching are rare, only take place when there is a specific suspicion, and the reasons of any such searches are documented in the file. 

The evidence indicates that UNICEF’s recommendation has not been generally adopted.

 

Additional cases

  1. S.M.S.O. - July 2017
  2. Q.A.M.A. - May 2017
  3. K.M.F.D. - April 2016
  4. A.K.S.A. - March 2016
  5. A.M.F.T. - February 2016