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UN makes recommendations on child detainees
[26 November 2013] – On 1 November the UN Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) adopted a Report following their review of Israel’s submission under the UPR human rights mechanism. According to the UN, the UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.
In its introduction to the Report, the Working Group noted that “Israel had given consideration to the recommendations from the last review, including on the legal regime in the West Bank, especially regarding to minors. A Juvenile Military Court was established in the West Bank to guarantee adequate and professional care for juveniles. The age of majority was raised from 16 to 18 years.”
Following an interactive dialogue with Member States, the Working Group made 229 conclusions and/or recommendations, including recommendations relating to the treatment of children held in military detention. There were specific recommendations relating to the inequality of treatment under Israel’s military and civilian legal systems; night arrests; the use of restraints and strip searches; solitary confinement; denial of legal representation and access to family members; confessions in Hebrew; and the audio-visual recording of all interrogations involving children.

Conclusions and/or recommendations
Take all steps necessary to ensure that Palestinian children in military custody receive the same level of care and have the same rights as provided by Israeli criminal law to youth offenders.
End the solitary confinement of child detainees, and that audio-visual recordings are made of all interviews with child detainees by the Israeli police and security forces.
Use alternatives to detaining children, and enact regulations to ensure greater protection of children’s rights particularly such as the use of restraints and strip searches.
End urgently night arrests of Palestinian children, the admissibility of evidence in military courts of written confessions in Hebrew signed by them, their solitary confinement and the denial of access to family members or to legal representation.