11th National Child Conference Seeks to Protect Children from Economic Exploitation

As part of the National Campaign on the Protection of Children from Economic Exploitation, Defence for Children International Palestine (DCI-Palestine) held the 11th National Child Conference, entitled “Protecting Childhood through Law and Social Responsibility – Stop Child Labor,” on October 24-25, 2013 at Birzeit University.
DCI-Palestine General Manager Rifat Kassis kicked off the event, explaining the conference’s focus on the aggravating phenomenon of child labor and exploitation.
Minister of Social Affairs Kamal Sharafi called for the protection of Palestinian children, emphasizing the need to develop mechanisms and programs that outline government and private organizations’ roles and responsibilities.
Minister of Labor Ahmad Magdalany said that his ministry is committed to international and Arab labor standards in its approach to marginalized groups.
Birzeit University President Khalil Hindi said that the conference, held at Birzeit University with the participation of the Department of Social and Behavioral Science and the Centre for Development Studies, aims to broaden community participation on children's issues between institutional representatives, social actors, economists and academics, as part of an overall review of social, economic and legal policies.
World Vision representative Alex Scenery said that child labor and economic exploitation is an epidemic sweeping over Palestinian children, robbing them of their childhood and keeping them away from school. Scenery affirmed that the rate of school dropouts is rising continuously.
Save the Children representative Jennifer Moorehead underscored the need to educate working children about their rights and activate the penal code for employers who exploit working children.
The conference was organized in partnership with World Vision and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Social Affairs, UNRWA, and Al-Quds Educational TV. The event was made possible through a generous donation from Save the Children International.