Support the rights of children in Palestine

“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said, “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” (Matthew 19:14)

The United Methodist commitment for the rights and protections of children is steadfast. In 1908, the United Methodist Social Creed called for the abolition of child labor.

Today, we continue to call for the full protection and rights of the most vulnerable, especially children (Book of Discipline, ¶162C).

Sadly, however, the day-to-day realities for children in Palestine is marked by violence, conflict, and trauma. They are routinely discriminated against, arrested and detained in military court, and denied access to basic freedoms and rights. Since 2000, more than 10,000 Palestinian children have been subject to the Israeli military court system.

Multiple sources, including UNICEF and the U.S. State Department, have reported the Israeli military’s regular use of force and violence upon detainees as well as a lack of fundamental fair trial rights.

There is no exemption for children.

Recently, H.Res. 2407, the “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” has been offered by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.). The bill aims to promote human rights for Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation and requires that U.S. funds do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.