Our organisation was founded with a vision of a just and equitable society for and shaped by young people, for which we are fearless advocates within a human rights framework. Our daily work involves protecting and asserting the human rights of young people, and this includes advocating for compliance with international human rights law and conventions. For this reason our organisation feels compelled to speak up in support of the children and young people of Palestine whose human rights are being abhorrently violated in the ongoing conflict.

We are gravely concerned by the escalating and catastrophic humanitarian disaster caused by the ongoing Israeli military attacks, and we emphasise the findings of the interim decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of 20 January 2024 which included a plausible case of genocide being perpetrated by Israel.

We are continuously shocked and saddened as to the significant loss of civilian life in Gaza, and that this includes an enormous number of children and young people. UNICEF has identified that Gaza is the most dangerous place in the world for children; over 10,000 children have been killed and nearly one million displaced, many of whom have lost one or both parents and suffered significant physical and mental trauma. Children and their families are now starving to death without access to food, or shelter or water, nor the right to self-determination of their religion and culture.

Youthlaw joins the call for a permanent ceasefire and a just and peaceful resolution to the current conflict. We call on all levels of Australian government to act in accordance with our responsibilities under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Genocide Convention, the Rome Statute, and the interim orders of the ICJ for the international community to actively protect Palestinians from genocide.

We condemn the violence committed by Hamas on 7 October 2023 and affirm the ICJ’s order that all hostages held by Hamas be immediately and unconditionally released

We also condemn antisemitism, anti-Arab sentiment, Islamophobia and all forms of racism which have no place in our Australian communities nor the global community.

Ariel Couchman


Young People’s Legal Rights Centre (YOUTHLAW)