Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel

Efforts to prevent the deportation of children in Out-of-Home Placement (2012)

With the commencement of the deportations to Sudan (2012), described by the Ministry of the Interior as "voluntary return", ASSAF began to receive appeals regarding children from South Sudan in Out-of-Home Placement (boarding schools), whose families were about to be deported, On June 20 2012, we submitted a petition to the High Court against the Ministries of Welfare and the Interior through Adv. Yonatan Berman (of the Human Rights Section of the Ramat Gan Academic Center), demanding that boys and girls removed from parental custody voluntarily or by order of the youth court be returned to their parents only after an examination by the professional welfare authorities or alternatively after the youth court decided that they were no longer at risk.
In response to the petition, the two ministries announced that children in placement out of home would not be returned to their parents until after application of the procedures specified by law, and that the welfare authorities would examine whether the child would be at risk if returned to the parents. We at Assaf withdrew our petition and have closely observed the conduct of the two ministries in order to ensure that they are complying with the law.