Children in detention

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2013 [OfficialReport, column 745] on Israel: children in detention, if he will make a statement on his discussions with the Israeli Attorney-General. [162177]
Alistair Burt: On 20 June, I met with Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was accompanied by a senior delegation, including Deputy Attorney-General Shai Nitzan and the Israeli ambassador to London. We discussed a range of issues including the treatment of children in detention, the use of live fire in the Gaza buffer zone and in dealing with non-violent protests and demolition of Palestinian property.
On the question of child detainees we discussed the recommendations in Baroness Scotland’s report. I welcomed steps that Israel has taken of late to reduce the gap between provisions for Israeli and Palestinian children including: raising the age of majority to 18; reducing the time period by which an arrested minor must be brought before a judge formalising the right of a parent/guardian to be present in court; and introducing a special court for minors.
We also discussed the need for further progress. In particular, building on the report’s recommendations, we believe it is important to ensure: systematic use of audio-visual recording when questioning children; an end to solitary confinement for children; and notification of arrest in Arabic to parents/guardians so that they can support children in the legal process.
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