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South Central Yearly Meeting minute on No Way to Treat a Child, 2021

(Based on Northwest Quarterly Meeting of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends minute, March 7, 2021: No Way to Treat a Child)

Spirit leads the South Central Yearly Meeting to engage wholeheartedly with the American Friends Service Committee’s No Way to Treat a Child campaign “which seeks to challenge and end Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinians by exposing widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system.” This rights-based effort to halt ongoing infringement of children’s human rights stems from Friends’ belief that no child should be denied due process or be tortured. We acknowledge the importance of this work and its alignment with our testimonies of Peace, Equality, Integrity, and Community.

The South Central Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas recognizes our own involvement in the incarceration of children and youth, most of them Black and Brown, here in the United States. Whether in prisons or cages for recent immigrants, this is no way to treat children.

SCYM Minute 2020.10 asked SCYM monthly meeting Peace and Social Justice/Action Committees to continue to support legislation to protect children and eliminate funding for governments that continue to oppress and violate human rights, especially children’s rights. With the new Congress, the South Central Yearly Meeting renews its embrace of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign by calling upon Friends everywhere to endeavor to end these violations of children’s human rights by:

  • Learning how placing children in military prisons violates international law and impedes the right to a childhood,
  • Talking with members of Congress to co-sponsor any future legislation addressing the military detention of children,
  • Writing letters to local newspapers as one of many ways Quakers can join No Way to Treat a Child,
  • Accompanying American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)—as led locally, nationally, and internationally—in that Quaker organization’s effort to end “the Israeli occupation of Palestinians by exposing the systematic ill treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention,”
  • Connecting what Friends learn about settler colonialism, here in the US, in other countries including in Israel/Palestine