Shoruq was founded in 2012 in Dheisheh Refugee Camp and is run by and for refugees. Shoruq’s vision, mission, objectives and programmes are geared towards political, social, cultural and economical prosperity and a dignified life for all refugees in Occupied Palestine and the Diaspora. We work with refugees in shaping a just solution and a better future for themselves and their children.
Providing legal and social support to refugee children in Bethlehem
In September 2014, Shoruq Organisation, with the support of CRIN, opened a legal clinic in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the Bethlehem Governorate of the West Bank. The clinic aims to provide comprehensive support to refugee children involved in the criminal justice system of the Palestinian Authority, from legal advice and representation in police stations and courtrooms, to counselling and follow-up in schools and the community.
At the outset of the project, CRIN and Shoruq decided to document the pilot phase of the project and publish the results. By frankly recording the process of establishing the clinic, the problems faced and the way they were overcome, we hope to help other organisations seeking to launch legal clinic projects to protect and promote children’s rights.
Refugee children in conflict with the law in Bethlehem
Despite the large quantity of research on children’s rights and juvenile justice, the particular problems facing refugee children and the violations of their rights in the criminal justice system have so far been neglected. CRIN and Shoruq undertook research study in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to meet four objectives:
Identify the specific needs of refugee children in conflict with the law to legal, psychological and social assistance.
Analyse the Palestinian criminal justice system from a children’s rights perspective.
Assess the social, economic and educational conditions faced by children in conflict with the law in the refugee camps of Bethlehem.
Increase awareness and interest in the experience of refugee children in conflict with the law.
This study was the first of its kind in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and was published at crucial point in the incorporation of international human rights standards into Palestinian law. On 2 April 2014, Palestine formally acceded to six of the UN’s core human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This commitment to the rights of Palestinians provides an opportunity to reform Palestinian law to properly protect the rights of children.