Administrative detention
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On completion of their sentences children are released by the military authorities at checkpoints in the West Bank. Parents generally know the day on which their child is to be released, but are rarely told at what time. Accordingly, on the day of release it is not uncommon for parents to wait for hours at a checkpoint for the release of their children. In other cases, children are released without their parents being informed at all, meaning the child will have to find his own way home from the checkpoint.

In the context of the situation it is unsurprising that the military authorities provide no assistance for the rehabilitation of children released from their custody. The rehabilitation services that are available are generally provided by Palestinian NGOs funded by international donations. One example of this is a counseling programme operated by the YMCA that provides services to approximately 350 ex-child detainees each year.

Common issues faced by ex-child detainees upon their release include a sense of isolation, anger and aggression, nightmares, bedwetting and a sense of hopelessness. It is common for ex-child detainees to perform less well in school and to drop out altogether. According to an opinion provided by Psychoactive-Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights (Israel), the “exposure to such potentially traumatic events is liable to have a lasting debilitating psychological and physiological effects,” including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Updated: August 2016