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June 16, 2014 9:03 am

Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child Calls on UN to Do More to Help Save Kidnapped Teens

avatar by Joshua Levitt

#bringbackourboys twitter hashtag campaign (Instagram)

#bringbackourboys twitter hashtag campaign (Instagram)

The Israeli Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child on Monday called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to help save the three kidnapped teens abducted on Thursday and believed by Israel to be held by Hamas kidnappers.

In a statement on Saturday, Ki-Boon had condemned the kidnapping, expressing “his solidarity with the families of the abducted” and called “for their immediate release.”

But MK Orly Levi-Abekasis, Chair of the Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child, asked the UN leader to take active steps to help return the three yeshiva students Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16.

Levi-Abekasis wrote: “The abduction constitutes a profound infringement of conventions and a blatant violation of the right of Israeli children to lead a peaceful, unthreatened life. These are not soldiers, nor were they engaged in battle – they are three young adolescents who should have been dividing their time between preparation for their final exams and their family circle.”

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She asked the UN leader to “act in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that ‘States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form’ (Article 35).”

Levi-Abekasis said, “In addition, the Convention on the Rights of the Child maintains that ‘States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child’ (Article 38.1).”

She asked  him to encourage the UN to “join the efforts to save the children, act immediately to ensure their well-being and do everything in its power to assist the speedy return of the youths to their families.”

The letter was also sent to Macharia Kamau, President of the United Nations Children’s Fund; Andres B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; and Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The search for the three teens continued at the weekend, while Jews around Israel and the world expressed their solidarity with the families of the teens by sending around a social media meme, #BringBackOurBoys, a rif on the campaign to free 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haraam, in Nigeria.

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