Human Rights Watch criticized the failure to include Israel and the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on the list of violators of children’s rights known as the “List of Shame”, issued annually by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Jo Becker, director of children’s rights advocacy at the international human rights organization, said that Guterres saved the parties involved in the killing and maiming of children from their predicament, by not including Israel, the coalition and other violators on the list of shame, as she put it.
She added that the Secretary-General’s repeated failure to prepare his list based on the evidence of the United Nations itself constituted a betrayal of children and fueled impunity.
The Secretary-General’s report revealed that the United Nations verified 1,031 grave violations committed against 340 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Israel during the year 2020.
The report also indicated that the United Nations verified that Israeli forces had arrested 361 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during 2020, on charges of security crimes. 87 children reported being subjected to ill-treatment and due process violations by Israeli forces while in detention, and 83% of them reported experiencing physical violence.
With regard to the war in Yemen, Guterres stated – in his report – that the United Nations verified the killing and maiming of 255 children caused by the Houthis, while the report indicated that the coalition was responsible for killing and maiming 194 children.
And Jo Baker added that after Guterres secured a second term as Secretary-General, he must abandon this approach, and ensure that his list reflects the facts, as she put it.
And last Friday, the United Nations General Assembly approved the appointment of Guterres as Secretary-General for a second term, starting from the beginning of next January, and continuing until the end of December 2026.
The United Nations began issuing a list of shame in 2002, and it includes those responsible for grave violations of children’s rights, including: killing, maiming, recruitment, sexual violence, kidnapping, attacks against schools and hospitals, and the denial of humanitarian aid to children.