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e-3608 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Nathania Rodman from Fenelon Falls, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The protection of the rights of children around the world is a priority of the Canadian government;
  • As signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Israel has an obligation to ensure basic due process rights and the absolute prohibition against torture and ill-treatment of children in accordance with international juvenile justice standards;
  • The Secretary General of the United Nations 2019 report on children and armed conflict on June 20, 2019, reiterated the Special Representative’s "call upon Israel to uphold international juvenile justice standards, as well as to cease the use of administrative detention for children and end all forms of ill-treatment in detention, and to cease any attempted recruitment of detained children as informants”;
  • Israel automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections;
  • For over 30 years, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International Palestine and other human rights groups have investigated, documented, and exposed human rights violations against children; and
  • Under Article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, all high signatories, of which Canada is one, are required to take actions to ensure that violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention do not occur under any circumstance.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to call for an urgent study by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to review Israel’s treatment of children in Israeli occupied Palestine and compliance with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada is a steadfast friend and ally of Israel and friend of the Palestinian people. The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral aspect of Canadian efforts abroad, and children’s rights are a top concern of our foreign policy. Canada is a strong advocate of the effort to end all violations of human rights against children, particularly in situations of humanitarian emergencies and armed conflict. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, and Canada ratified the Convention in 1991.

Canadian officials continue to closely monitor the status of children’s rights in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Canada believes that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority must fully respect international humanitarian and human rights law. Respect for these laws is key to ensuring the protection of civilians, and contributes to the creation of a climate conducive to achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace. The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel's obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories.

Canada provides significant support to Palestinians in areas such as humanitarian assistance, growth that works for everyone, inclusive governance and access to quality education, particularly for refugee children and children with disabilities. This support also seeks to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Canada encourages Israel and the Palestinians to resume dialogue and direct negotiations to foster peace and stability.

Open for signature
October 26, 2021, at 11:28 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
December 25, 2021, at 11:28 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre)
February 16, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00194)
Government response tabled
April 1, 2022
Photo - Salma Zahid
Scarborough Centre
Liberal Caucus