To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about its holding children detained in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in immediate solitary confinement; whether they have any plans to work within the European Union to end the practice; whether they know when the proposed system of summons will start; and whether they will take steps to ensure access by parents to their children in custody.
18 June 2014
The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Mr Grayling), raised the treatment of child detainees with the Israeli Supreme Court President during his visit to Israel in May. The system of summons started in February 2014. It has already shown initial success in decreasing the number of children arrested at night. We intend to carry out further analysis on this system over the coming months. As a recent progress report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) indicates, Israel has taken some positive steps towards addressing the recommendations in UNICEF's Children in Israeli Military Detention report. These include: the introduction of legal obligations to inform the child's parents of an arrest and grant them legal status to be represented in court, as well as to notify minors of their legal rights; and standard operating procedures on methods of restraint. The Government will continue to work, both through bilateral engagement and through the EU, to encourage Israel to take further positive steps.