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A letter Calling UNICEF Lebanon to end its dealings with G4S

Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon    
Beirut, Lebanon
+961 3 434643

 

May 11, 2016

 

Ms. Tanya Chapuisat
UNICEF Representative to Lebanon
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Clemenceau area, Maamari Street, Gefinor Center, Block E, 6th Floor

 

Dear Ms. Tanya Chapuisat,

The Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon is gravely concerned that UNICEF Lebanon continues to employ G4S, a security company complicit in the imprisonment and ill-treatment of Palestinian children.

On April 5, 2016, our Campaign held a peaceful rally outside your offices in Beirut to demand that UNICEF end its dealings with G4S. The event was covered by major media outlets. We delivered a letter (hereby attached) to one of your employees detailing our demand and the reasons behind it. One month later, you have not taken, to our knowledge, any action in that regard. Does it stand to reason that an international organization dedicated to the well-being of children employ a company facilitating their abuse? 

According to UNICEF’s own study (Children in Israel Military Detention, Feb. 2013), “in the past 10 years, an estimated 7,000 children have been detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system – an average of two children each day.” (p.9). The report adds that “the analysis of the cases monitored by UNICEF identified examples of practices that amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture.” (p.9). Hundreds of children remain in prison (see http://www.addameer.org ).

G4S provides security systems to Israeli incarceration facilities (See The Case of G4S by The Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel, March 2011). Such facilities include Ofer prison, which your own report (p.11) identifies as a major interrogation site of Palestinian children. Despite international pressure by human rights groups, G4S has repeatedly broken its promise to end its services to Israeli jails. It is high time all people and organizations in good conscience end their dealings with it. One more day of a child in detention is one too many.

We thereby wish to reiterate our appeal, in line with the campaign by Palestinian civil society and the global solidarity movement backing it, that you terminate any employment arrangement you have with G4S and/or with any of its subsidiaries.

Ending your contract with G4S is a fulfillment of your stated mandate to “advocate for the protection of children’s rights”. Taking initiative now will send a clear signal to companies worldwide that UNICEF has zero tolerance for abuse of children’s rights. UNICEF Jordan, and more recently UNHCR Jordan and UNOPS Jordan, have already taken that step. It is our hope the UNICEF Lebanon, where children have also suffered from Israeli brutality, will stand up for defending Palestinian children and live up to its legacy in Lebanon as an advocate of children’s rights.

Awaiting the favor of your early answer to this email, we remain ready to further discuss the above in your office at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Campaign to Boycott Supporters of “Israel” in Lebanon 

تواصل مع الحملة

للتواصل معنا

عنوان: بيروت - لبنان

عبر الهاتف: T: +961 1 858355 | M: +961 3 434643

عبر الايميل: info@boycottcampaign.com

 

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