NGO accuses EU of funding campaign seeking to place IOF on UN’s ‘blacklist’

Palestinian and international NGOs – funded by European governments and working in tandem with UNICEF’s West Bank and Gaza branch, have launched a campaign seeking to place the Israeli occupation forces on UN’s blacklist for abusing Palestinian children, a recent report by NGO Monitor claimed on Thursday.

The NGO Monitor stated in the report that the core goal of the claimed campaign is to have the IOF included on a list of child rights abusers, published annually by the UN Secretary-General as an annex to the report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC).

It warned that such a campaign can be used to “lobby the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis, employing terms such as “widespread and systematic abuse” to artificially echo the definition of crimes against humanity in the ICC’s Rome Statute.”

It added, “Similarly, NGOs pressure governments to enact sanctions against Israel. For instance, based on manufactured allegations, the “No Way to Treat a Child” advocacy project – spearheaded by the terror-linked Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P)1 and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – led to the introduction of congressional legislation to curb US funding for Israel.”

In January 2018, NGO Monitor published “UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: Failing Children,” detailing joint NGO-UN efforts “to demonize Israel and blacklist the IDF,” as it said in the report.

It claimed that it noted that several of the NGOs in this “working group” promote BDS, and a number of members are closely linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“Since then, these NGOs have continued their efforts under UN auspices and buoyed by substantial financial and project support from the EU and European countries,” it said.

The report said that UNICEF sought $3.35 million to fund its activities on the matter between 2018 and 2022. The funds were earmarked to engage “human rights mechanisms … to hold Israel accountable for its obligations under international law.”

Activities include “documenting and reporting on grave violations of child rights; building capacity of the government and civil society on data collection, reporting, analysis and advocacy related to rights and violations; and increasing the number of national, civil society and other organizations actively monitoring, advocating and mobilizing on human rights violations,” the findings show.

“At the same time, since 2018 alone, the EU has provided at least €3.2 million to projects that further the campaign, alongside at least $6.7 million from other European countries and UN frameworks,” it said.

However, the EU Delegation in ‘Israel’ issued a statement saying, “The EU is neither aware of nor takes part in any campaign aiming at adding an Israeli or Palestinian entity to the annex of the UN annual report on children and armed conflict.”

“Promotion and protection of the rights of the child is a priority of the EU’s human rights policy. The EU considers it of critical importance to address the issue of protection of children because children enjoy inalienable rights, as set out in the universally applicable UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols and other international and regional human rights instruments.”

The EU, the statement continued, “Will continue to support civil society organizations which play an indispensable role in any democratic society, in fostering pluralism and democratic values as well as in promoting good governance, human rights and rule of law, both in the EU and across the world.”

“The content of documents produced by Save the Children with the financial assistance of the European Union are the sole responsibility of Save the Children and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.”

(Source / 18.02.2021)

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