UN adds Israel to ‘list of shame’ for rights violations against children

United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres has added Israel's military to a global list of offenders who have committed violations against children, said Israel's UN envoy Gilad Erdan. He describes the decision as shameful and disgusting.

Every year, the UN secretary general publishes a report on violations of children's rights in some 20 conflict zones around the world. The report is accompanied by the "list of shame", which lists the state and non-state actors considered responsible for, among other things, killing, maiming, recruiting and abducting children and sexual violence against children. ​ 

The next report is expected later this month, but Erdan has already confirmed that Israel has been added to the list alongside Russia, the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Lord’s Resistance Army, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Yemen. Erdan said he was notified of the decision by Guterres' chief of staff on Friday. 

"I am utterly shocked and disgusted by this shameful decision of the secretary general," he said. "Israel's army is the most moral army in the world, so this immoral decision will only aid the terrorists and reward Hamas."

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the UN had "added itself to the black list of history when it joined those who support the Hamas murderers." Foreign minister Israel Katz said the decision would impact the country's relations with the UN.

Last year, Russian armed forces and related armed groups were added to the list. Human rights organisations had been calling for years for Israel to be added. The UN had warned in its 2022 report that Israel would end up on the list if no improvement was noted.


UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in Brussels © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

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