At the invitation of Geneva Call, nine Palestinian factions attended a roundtable discussion on the protection of children from the effects of armed conflict and violence in Mieh Mieh refugee camp, Lebanon, on 17 December. The event was the result of a year of preparation and led to the adoption of a declaration by the factions’ two main umbrella organizations in Lebanon: the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Forces of the Palestinian National Coalition (‘Tahaluf’).
With this declaration, the factions commit to the highest international standards on the protection of children. “We condemn the use of children in all forms of armed action, regardless of its aims. We pledge to take all practical means to ensure that children under eighteen will not take any direct part in hostilities. We similarly condemn the targeting of civilians and their property, of educational and health institutions, and any other public utilities within the camps”, said the PLO and the Tahaluf.”We declare our absolute willingness to cooperate with all concerned parties to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the present declaration”, the statement continued.
The Palestinian factions present at the roundtable discussion included Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, Palestinian Liberation Front, Palestinian Arabic Front, Nidal Front, People’s Party, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Geneva Call will continue the dialogue with the factions and engage with all stakeholders for the implementation and respect of this declaration.
Full text of the declaration can be found here: http://bit.ly/1aCrIM7