Ramallah, November 12, 2022—The general director of Defense for Children International – Palestine was elected to lead the Defence for Children International global child rights movement during an international general assembly meeting on Friday.
Defence for Children International (DCI) national section representatives elected Quzmar as president of DCI’s International Executive Council on November 11. The vote was held as national section representatives from around the world participated in DCI’s 13th annual International General Assembly meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Quzmar previously served on the council as Vice President of the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Pacific.
“It is an honor that my DCI colleagues have entrusted me with this important role, helping to guide and build our global child rights-focused movement,” said Khaled Quzmar. “As child rights are increasingly disregarded or actively undermined in various situations around the world, I resolve to work collaboratively within our DCI movement to ensure that child rights are respected, protected, and strengthened at the local, national, and international levels.”
DCI is a leading child rights-focused and membership-based grassroots movement founded in 1979 that seeks to promote and protect children’s rights in accordance with international standards at the local, national, and international levels. The International General Assembly meets every four years and is attended by each of the national sections affiliated with the DCI movement. The International Executive Council is the governing body of the DCI movement and comprises eight individual members that serve for a four-year period.
The DCI general assembly met on the margins of the Global Forum on Justice for Children Deprived of Liberty, organized by DCI and Terre des Hommes. The forum marked three years since the UN Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty was published and brought together UN agencies and offices, civil society organizations, and child rights advocates from around the world to evaluate the state of children deprived of liberty.
Quzmar is the general director of Defense for Children International – Palestine and joined DCIP in 1995 as a lawyer representing Palestinian children in Israeli military courts, and rose through the ranks to become administrative and legal affairs director. He specializes in issues of juvenile justice and grave violations against children during armed conflict. He earned an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland Galway.
DCIP, as a national section of DCI, pledges to follow DCI’s mandate to “promote and protect children’s rights in accordance with international standards.” At the same time, DCIP is an autonomous organization that raises its own funds and develops its own programs in response to contextual needs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.