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Denying Palestinian Children Education

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Denying Palestinian Children Education - by Stephen Lendman

In July 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a new report titled, "Education Denied: Israel's Systematic Violation of Palestinian Children's Right to Education," even though it's a fundamental human right.

It involves progressively developing children as individuals and responsible citizens. It's key in helping them "raise their standard of living, and (be able to further their) economic, social and cultural development and growth of society."

PCHR's report addresses Israeli policies that affect primary education achievement for all Palestinians by 2015.

International law recognizes the right to education for everyone, including Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) stating:

"The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education....(It) shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups," as well as advance activities for peace.

Fourth Geneva's Article 50 states:

"The Occupying Power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the education of children."

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The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) calls it an indispensable human right, essential to include the following features:

-- Availability in proper, well-functioning, educational institutions;

-- Accessibility to everyone without discrimination or unaffordability;

-- Acceptability in terms of substance and quality; and

-- Adaptability to reflect the needs of changing societies.

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"The best interests of (students) must always be the primary consideration."

Various other core international law provisions affirm that "basic learning needs of all children....be satisfied." Primary responsibility falls on State Parties, obligated to respect, protect, and fulfill "positive measures to enable and assist individuals and communities to enjoy the right to education."

As an occupying power, Israel is obligated by law to provide and encourage proper education for everyone. Nonetheless, it systematically denies Palestinian children the right to primary (and secondary) education. Its quality and accessibility are hampered by:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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