On 7 December 2015, Geneva Call and the Nashit association launched a study called “Children at Risk in the Palestinian Refugee Camps” in Beirut. The study was presented at a conference co-organized by Geneva Call, the Swiss Embassy and the Embassy of Palestine. More than 60 people from embassies, NGOs or United Nations organizations attended the conference.
Among the panellists were: Tanya Chapuisat, UNICEF’s Lebanon Representative; Matthias Schmale, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon; and Fahim Karame, Advisor on Child Protection to the Minister of Social Affairs. They discussed the study’s alarming results.
The study— conducted among 310 children living in the camps—clearly showed that not only are children used to the armed violence in their camps but also that some of them use violence or armed violence themselves and do not see this as a “problem”.
This study will also be used as grounds to reinforce Geneva Call’s long-term engagement on child protection with the main armed actors in the refugee camps, including the Palestinian National Security Forces which are in charge of security within them. Geneva Call also presented its report to the Palestinian factions which had signed a declaration on child protection in 2013.
Geneva Call hopes that this study will encourage local and international humanitarian actors to improve services and mobilize resources for children in the camps.