Bahrain authorities violate the rights of hundreds of children violating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, The European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, Salam for Human Rights and Democracy, The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights Justice Human Rights Organisation, the Pearl Centre for Human Rights, the Bahrain Society for Human Rights, and the Bahrain Forum for Human Rights express deep concern about the continuing violations by Bahraini authorities against hundreds of children and the violation of its commitments to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 2011 until today, the authorities in Bahrain have violated children's right to security by killing more than 10 children under 18, and the right to freedom by arresting more than 1500 children some of which are still in detention facing charges under the Terrorism Act. Dozens of children are denied the right of citizenship by the authorities including those whose parents were arrested because of the political situation or the children of those whose nationalities were arbitrarily revoked. Hundreds of children were denied to the right of education because of detention, especially as the schools claimed by the authorities in the juvenile prison are not specialised and do not meet children's educational needs.
Mr. Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, thinks that this violation of children's rights is only a reprisal against juveniles whose only crime is living in a country that does not recongnise the rights of the child, living in an area with ongoing protests or being members of a family well-known for its political activity.
Mr. Youssif Rabi'a, the president of Bahrain Forum for Human Rights, has seen that children in Bahrain are exposed to the risk of ongoing violations up to losing the right to live.
Mr. Hussain Barweez, the president of the European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights, considered children's rights as high human rights that should be respected by Bahrain as long-standing democracies have been doing. No progress could be made without respecting children's rights.
"Bahrain joined the UN convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992 and thus be fully responsible for all violations committed after its entry into force. Therefore, Bahraini authorities must stop violating children's rights and amend its laws to ensure full compliance with the international standards", said Ms. Jaleela Al-Salman, the representative of the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory.
Mr. Jawad Fairooz said that all these grave violations against children in Bahrain including killing with live ammunition, detention, torture, long-term sentences and denial of education are all indications to Bahrain's indifference to its local legislations and international conventions and treaties.
Ahmed Al-Hujairi stressed that although twenty-six years have passed since the UN convention on the Rights of the Child has been issued and fifteen years on the two Protocols thereto, we still see dozens of children under 18 being exposed to violations which result in psychological troubles that may lead to violent acts and laws opposition.
Mr. Nader Al-Salatna expressed his regret as Bahraini authorities continues to try children under 18 before court under Terrorism Act and the Bahraini Children Law 2012 which considers children under 15.
Accordingly, NGO's signing this statement call Bahrain allies and international organisations to put pressure on the government for:
- Immediate release of all children unconditionally.
- Stopping denial of children's right to freedom and reprisals due to the political situation in the country.
- ensuring children's rights in accordance with the international treaties and conventions ratified by Bahrain.
- amendment of Bahraini Law to raise the child age to 18 instead of 15.
Read the statement in French here.