Hugh Robertson pledged his support for the Foreign Office-funded report Children in Military Custody and its 40 recommendations: “I entirely support it and during my time as a minister, I will do everything I can to ensure that its recommendations are properly and correctly implemented.”
The report’s authors, Sir Stephen Sedley QC, Baroness Scotland, and others, will revisit Israel in March to review progress. So far only two or three of their 40 recommendations have been carried out by the Israelis, reducing the maximum period of detention of children without charge from 60 to 40 days and the maximum before appearing before a judge from 4 days to one for 12-13 year-olds and to two for 14-15 year olds.
This does only a little to reduce the abuses which mainly occur in the first 24 hours after Palestinian children are arrested in the middle of the night, interrogated without parents or lawyers present, bullied into signing confessions in a language they do not understand and jailed sometimes as young as 12.
Children in Military Custody report>