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SAMPLE LETTER: Demand that Palestinian schoolchildren have immediate, unhindered access to education

Dear Ambassador / Consul General / Minister / Advocate General, Chief of General Staff,

I am writing you to express my deep concern about systematic restrictions imposed by the Government of Israel on Palestinian schoolchildren’s access to education.

On a daily basis, Israeli soldiers search and harass Palestinian students throughout the West Bank at military checkpoints as they commute to school. Many of these children must also cross dangerous settler bypass roads, walk through military zones, and even firing zones to make it to school. Israeli soldiers also raid schools; use schools as interrogation and/or detention centers; and fire teargas, stun-grenades, rubber bullets and live ammunition in and around school premises. Moreover, Israeli soldiers frequently guard Israeli settlers as they vandalize school property, harass and physically attack Palestinian school children on their commutes to and from school.

These restrictions result in: a reduction in time for learning; poorer academic achievements; a lack of attendance; and increased dropout rates. It is also reported that parents are increasingly pulling their children out of school due to the dangers that they face during their commutes. Girls are disproportionally affected, as they are more likely to stop attending school when faced with harassment or physical abuse. Yet, harassment, violence and arrests largely affect boys.

The UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) noted that in 2015 there were 156 attacks on education in Palestine, which directly affected 19,276 students. Also in 2015, there were 140 incidents of denial of access, to education affecting more than 14,916 students.

These practices are unacceptable and clearly violate Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social And Cultural Rights (1966), the Convention on the Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (1979), and the Convention On The Rights of The Child (1989).

I ask that you do everything within your capacities to help ensure that Palestinian schoolchildren have unhindered access to education, free from harassment at checkpoints, violence during commutes, arrests, and demolitions.




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