Palestinian Child Day falls annually on April 5th. This is an annual event for the Palestinian community to celebrate their children and to call for action on issues and concerns affecting them.
Watch a TV spot made to mark this year’s Palestinian Child Day:
- There are 2,150,000 children in the occupied Palestinian territory.
- Every year approximately 700 Palestinian children from the West Bank are prosecuted in Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army.
- There are about 800,000 children in Gaza; the majority of them have never traveled outside of Gaza.
- The Separation Wall dividing the West Bank from Jerusalem denies thousands of Palestinian children the right to the city.
- Results of a baseline survey conducted by Save the Children Sweden and East Jerusalem-YMCA indicated that all adult ex-detainees and 90.6% of child ex-detainees suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Moreover, ex-detainee children in general were at higher risk, in comparison with a standardized sample, for all symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including introversive and thought problems, anxiety/depression, and withdrawal, while adult ex detaineeswere at high risk of mental disorders in comparison with a non patient sample.
- Results indicated that 65.2% of younger ex-detainees suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.
- Younger child ex-detainees (15 years of age) suffer from more severe trauma due to their separation from their families at such a critical age. Results indicate that intervention was very much affective in reducing the PTSD symptoms of beneficiaries.
- The majority of ex-detainee children and adults mentioned face family, social, financial and emotional difficulties after their release. Family dynamics worsen after the child’s release, parents become more overprotective and authoritarian, and children become less communicative, more nervous and unable to stand by their family limits. Parents were bothered by their children’s mood and behaviour and mostly bothered by the child’s performance at school/work. Interestingly, social behaviour was the most satisfying area, which may indicate a better social functioning than other demanding functioning areas. In general, the data indicates high parenting stress due to the parents’ preoccupation with their own life issues, like health, work, and mood problems.
The Post–trauma rehabilitation of ex-detainee children programme aims at facilitating the re-integration process of child ex-detainees into their community through enhancing their educational and vocational lives through providing educational vocational support.
From Save The Children Sweden website