Letter to Secretary Kerry from 19 members of Congress
In June 2015, after three days of advocacy coordinated by the No Way to Treat a Child campaign, 19 members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to prioritize the issue of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.
The letter, initiated by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN), noted that "Israel's military detention system targeting children is an anomaly in the world," and that UNICEF has found ill-treatment of Palestinian children is "widespread, systematic and institutionalized" throughout the detention process. The lawmakers urged "the Department of State to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in [the U.S.'s] bilateral relationship with the Government of Israel."
During the three days of advocacy in Washington, the campaign held a congressional briefing on the widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. The June 2 briefing on Capitol hill drew over 100 attendees, including staff from at least 30 different congressional offices. At the briefing, members of congress were urged to sign the letter initiated by Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) asking the U.S. Department of State to make protection of Palestinian children a priority in U.S.-Israel relations.
On June 1, events kicked off with an interfaith vigil marking the International Day for the Protection of the Child. Following the briefing on June 2, the No Way to Treat a Child campaign screened a new short documentary film, Detaining Dreams, about Palestinian children in Israeli military detention. The film was produced by Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
On June 3, the campaign organized congressional office visits on Capitol Hill in an effort to highlight the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention and urge members of congress to take action.
Events were organized by AFSC, DCIP, and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation as part of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign.