On the Occasion of the Human Rights Day, the National YWCA of Palestine sends you this message from our besieged country struggling each day to shake off the shackles of almost 50 years of a military occupation and ongoing settler colonial policies and practices.
The people in Palestine, especially the young people have given up on the stale peace process, their own Palestinian leadership, the vast network of NGO’s doing development work, and the international community with all its UN resolutions and talk. There is emerging determination of a new generation who do not see a future for themselves other than the force of their own actions.
It is hard to celebrate Human Rights Day today in such a time as this when human rights are violated on the hour here. But nonetheless, we take this opportunity to ask you to join us in remembering the possibility of change and the promise of justice these resolutions and laws have been created to protect.
Towards this end, we invite you to join us in asking for action at the UN itself on an issue that is of grave concern to us here, the warehousing of Palestinian political prisoners, including children, who are held without trial and often tortured (see latest report: Number of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons doubles).
We ask you to join us in asking the UN (and others) to end its contract with G4s, a British private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli occupation prisons. Despite G4S' role in human rights abuses in Palestine and across the world, the UN is contracting G4S to provide it with security services worth more than US$22 million each year. In doing so, the UN is contradicting its own stated contracting principles and turning a blind eye to the role that G4S plays in Israel's oppression of Palestinians and in human rights abuses all over the world. G4S has already lost contracts with businesses and universities across the world including some of our partner churches The United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church, both of whom have divested from the company.
Palestinian prisoner’s rights group Addameer and organizations across the world are calling on the UN to drop its contracts with G4S. Those interested may pursue this by clicking here.
So let us commemorate this Humans Rights Day by asking the UN itself to stand for justice, in particular the rights of prisoners, and end its contract with G4s.
The season of Advent begins with a call to repentance and preparation for new life. We invite you to join us in our resistance so a new world can be born based on our shared values of human dignity, freedom, and peace with justice.