Children across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are frequently deprived of the basic rights afforded to them in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and international law. This is particularly alarming and reprehensible for children within the juvenile justice system, regardless of whether they are in conflict with the law.
Across the region, laws relating to children are outdated, and enforcement of children’s rights is too often weak or nonexistent. Many countries lack a comprehensive juvenile justice system that can appropriately respect and handle children’s rights. Shockingly, governments in some countries are simply unable or unwilling to adequately protect children.
Across the MENA region, human rights organizations are campaigning for change as they provide and strengthen key services. However, these organizations face their own difficulties, handicapped by restrictions on freedom of expression, and physical attacks on activists.
DCI-Palestine’s MENA project, launched in 2011, is improving the situation for children across the region by supporting organizations that work for children’s rights. By working closely with the League of Arab States and creating a strong regional network, we promote basic protections for children, and we seek to develop child-friendly justice systems based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and international law.
The project is supported by DCI sections in nine countries: