27/5/2011 FATHERS' RIGHTS COALITION COMPLAINTS AGAINST STATE OF ISRAEL AT THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (Exclusive!)
Human Rights Council and Treaties Division
Complaint Procedure, OHCHR-UNOG
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 917 90 11, E-mail: CP@ohchr.org
Re: HR Council 1503 Complaint v. Israel (Yaakov Neeman, Moshe Kahlon)
This is a complaint invoking the 1503Procedure pursuant to ECOSOC resolution 1503 (XLVIII) of 27 May 1970 as revised by resolution 2000/3 of 19 June 2000 against the State of Israel submitted by a citizen of Israel.
Articles of the Covenant or Convention alleged to have been violated:
ICESCR: Articles 2(2), 3, 6, 10(1), 10(3), 11, and 12.
ICCPR: Articles 2(3), 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24 and 26.
III. Exhaustion of domestic remedies/Application to other international procedures
Steps taken by or on behalf of the alleged victims to obtain redress within the State concerned for the alleged violation – detail which procedures have been pursued, including recourse to the courts and other public authorities, which claims you have made, at which times, and with which outcomes:
My application to join a Petition to the High Court of Justice (“HCJ”) in Jerusalem, Adam Zer v. Ministry of Welfare, docket No. Bagatz 2111/11 was denied on April 4, 2011 by the Hon. Judge Yzhak Amit. The HCJ is the highest Court in the State empowered to grant administrative relief and declare laws as unconstitutional. By denying me the right to join this Petition, my claims for violations of human rights by the State of Israel cannot be submitted to any other Court or tribunal. Moreover, on May 16, 2011, Judge Amit issued a warning that because more applicants are moving the Court to join this petition, he is considering dismissing it in its entirety.
The Declaratory Relief Petition, filed on March 15, 2011 sought to compel the Ministry of Welfare to implement equal treatment of men and women during divorce, abolish all preferential treatment in favor of women, and cease immediately from the cruel and inhuman practices of state-sponsored child disengagement from fathers during divorce and separation. In particular, the Petition sought to abolish Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, Section 25, to the extent it is interpreted to require the mother’s consent as a condition to the father’s visitations. The Petition further sought to declare the automatic referral of fathers to supervised visitation centers as unconstitutional.
The policy of conditioning child visitations on the consent of the mother was flatly rejected by ECHR many years ago in Elsholz v. Germany, 2 FLT , Sahin v. Germany, Sommerfeld v. Germany, and Hoffmann v. Germany. All of these ECHR cases dealt with “mother’s consent” to father’s visitations, and the resulting alienation of children from fathers.
The Petition alleges that Israel is signatory to international covenants such as ICCPR, ICESCR and CRC, but it systematically refuses to interpret the “right to family life” as including the automatic right of fathers to access the children without state intervention or interference. Instead, the state and its courts require the father to demonstrate why the child’s best interest warrants that there be some access to the child by the father. To that end, the Court compels fathers to submit to the authority of social workers (“CSW”) for writing a report, and then supervising visitations, while women get automatic interim custody without a fair, evidentiary and adversarial hearing.
In Many cases, fathers are required to prove there are “fit” by taking Parental Fitness Tests and Dangerous propensity tests, which cost thousands of dollars.
There were 29 additional applications of fathers in similar situations to join the Adam Zer Petition, but the Honorable Judge Yizhak Amit dismissed all such applications on the ground that the HCJ does not need amicus curiae. When additional applications were being filed, Judge Amit issued a sua sponte “warning” that if more such applications would come in, he will contemplate dismissing the petition in its entirety.
Thus, I have reached the highest level of the Judiciary in Israel, and was denied the opportunity to be heard. Needless to say that the pre-dismissal warning issued to the two Petitioners (Adam Zer, a minor age 5 and a half, and his father, Daniel Zer, both have not seen each other in two years despite living 5 street blocks from each other), indicates that the Judiciary in Israel intends to perpetuate the discriminatory practices, which I am complaining about.
IV. Facts of the complaint
Personal aspects of the complaint
I am a second class citizen of Israel, because I am a divorced father. That means that I am entitled to no rights whatsoever and that I am subjected to deprivation of life, liberty and properly without due process and without equal protection of the laws. [Redacted]
Legal And Factual Background
Personally, I am a divorced father, or in some other matrimonial proceeding. As such I am treated by my own country as a “second class citizen” without rights, and I am being subjected to discrimination and infringement of the above stated covenants. The “status” of a “man in divorce proceedings” Israel is subject to institutionalized torture and denial of civil rights. The state refused to recognize my rights to fatherhood, family life and contact with child/ren. The State officially interprets the right to family life as dependant on the concept of “mother’s consent”, a concept which the ECHR discarded long ago.
The state also maintains discriminatory and unequal statutory presumptions: the Tender Years Presumption gives automatic custody of children to mothers. All men are sent to social workers who act as personal criminal Probation Officers and cancel visitations at whim. The rate of supervised visitations in Israel is the highest anywhere (20%), see charts. The rate of children’s removal and outplacements is the highest in the world. The rate of false arrests and false convictions is also one of the highest, and the false arrests are one more institutionalized tool to disengage fathers from children.
The state also refuses to take into account the women’s income in considering amount of child support. Therefore, the rate of non-disposable income vs. award of child support is unconscionable and must be, again, the highest in the world. The State compels child support defendants to be bound by religious laws, even if they are not formally affiliated with any religion or wish to denounce it.
The State enforces discriminatory domestic violence guidelines. Women are exempt from false report prosecution, thus encouraging free and careless false reports, resulting in automatic orders of removal of husbands from home. Most disturbingly, children are routinely disengaged from their fathers, and all fathers are subjected to compelled interventionist methods of social workers, and costly “parental fitness” evaluators, thereby increasing the impoverishment of fathers like me.
At Family Courts, the state fails to adequately publish all the applicable Family laws in a way accessible by citizens. Only lawyers have subscription access to the laws. The State fails to make the Family Courts accessible and user-friendly to pro se litigants. The state has built in mechanisms to deter men from making applications for child support reductions or visitation enlargements, as they are usually denied with costs between $600-$1,200.
Family Courts also avoid the requirement of conducting fair trials, by simply holding endless numbers of “conferences”, which are dominated by the Judge, and the husbands’ attorneys are constantly silenced. Decisions on applications benefiting husbands, such as equitable distribution or child access, are delayed for several months deliberately. Applications benefitting women are decided within days.
In addition, appeals from Family Court are non-affordable, since a $3,000 bond is necessary to secure the appeal. The State also fails to provide judicial remedies, as Family Court Judges routinely deny justice by refusing applications to summon witnesses or financial records, denying applications to cross examine social workers’ hearsay reports, or issuing a “Judgment” at whim, (as described in the Adam Zer Petition, under oath), without trials at all. Family Court proceedings lack fair justice and equal protection.
The per-capita rate of supervised visitation in “Contact Centers” is the highest in the world (2,200 families per year, out of 6,000 divorces-with-children (but the number is higher as there are 1,000-1,500 in waiting list). Periods of State-enforced disengagement and Alienation can last 2 years, 5 years and in an extreme case, 12 years. PAS is so prevalent in Israel, it is subject of controversy in almost every dissolution of marriage case, and it is the State authorities that fail to protect against it.
I note that there is no real judicial review of father-child contact, and Family Court Judges simply delegate the authority to determine father’s levels of contact with children to Welfare Agents (Social Workers) who serve as court aides. Women still enjoy a presumption that they are the parent best suitable for custody under Capacity and Guardianship Law, Section 25. Thus, women routinely get primary physical custody rights on application alone, while conversely, men are sent to social workers for “investigation”, character assessment and reports. The Social workers routinely threaten the fathers, collect rumors and libels against them, entice women to file false domestic violence complaints to expel men from their own homes, or delay proceedings pending referrals to private and costly “Dangerous Propensity Tests” or “Parental Fitness Tests”.
As a general rule, appointed social workers routinely send the men to see their children in supervised visitations centers, and this is admitted in the press by the official in charge, Simona Shteinmetz), where the fathers are treated like criminals, branded as “dangerous”, and the children only get an hour or two per week with the fathers, for several years. The supervised visitations take place at SW’s convenience, and the children only get one or two hours a week, during the fathers’ work hours. Thus, when the state, via its appointed social workers conditions visitations with children on supervised visitations (simply because of the mother’s refusal to consent), fathers accumulate absences from work and risk losing their jobs and livelihoods, because in order to see their children, they have to jeopardize their job.
Allegations of violation per each Article of the Covenants,
ICESCR Article 2(2) – Non-discrimination and the right to a remedy. The Covenant states: “The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
The violation occurs in several areas:
- Legislation: "Tender Years Presumption” favors women in custody disputes. It affords women automatic interim custody without any evidentiary hearing. It also creates disengagement/alienation of fathers from children during long and intolerable periods.
- Legislation: Child support awards are unconscionable and do not take into account the women’s income.
- Practices: While fathers must await a social worker’s report, mothers get instant custody, and indirectly receive the power to block the fathers’ access to see their own children.
- Legislation: There is no legislation or provisions in the Social Workers Manual addressing joint custody, thus fathers are denied the right to equal opportunity to be a significant factor in their children’s lives post-dissolution of marriage.
- Attorney General/Police Guidelines: Guideline 2.5 exempts mothers from the consequences of false domestic violence complaints. The Police does not normally accept complaints of abused men.
- Civil Procedure: Family Courts deliberately procrastinate deciding on applications benefiting husbands.
- Civil Procedure: Lack of Appellate remedies from Family Courts due to unaffordable appeal bond, which effectively block most middle-class men from appealing.
ICESCR Article 3 – Equal Rights of Men and women The Covenant states: “The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant”.
The violation occurs in the same manner described in ICESCR Article 2.
ICESCR Article 6 – The right to work. The Covenant states: “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right”.
The violation occurs in several respects. First, the incessant number of Court “conferences”, social worker meetings or coerced therapy sessions, the tests, meeting with attorneys, and having to see children at supervised visitation centers during work hours, all jeopardize fathers’ ability to maintain a job. Second, when Family Court Judges impose outrageous and unconscionable child support payments (sometimes exceeding the salary itself), the entire salary is garnished, and finding a job is impossible, because employers cannot handle the constant stream of salary garnishments, and incessant Court orders against them to transfer the salary to the mother, or be dragged into a costly litigation.
In fact, the Courts maliciously ignore actual evidence of actual salary, and instead they rely on arbitrary “imputed income”, without even hearing evidence what or why the father is alleged to be able to work more hours than he actually does.
ICESCR Article 10(1) – The right to family life. The Covenant states : The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses.
The violation occurs in several respects:
- The state refuses to interpret the adult’s right to family life as including his right to relationship and access with his children during and after the dissolution of the marriage.
- The state compels fathers to prove that they are fit to be parents during and after dissolution of the marriage, rather than take it for granted that the same parent who raised the child during the marriage has a right to non-interventionist relationship with his children during and after divorce.
- The right of fathers’ to family life in Israel is not judicially handled. Rather, the Judiciary divests its powers and authorities to a social worker, who is not bound by evidence, and is immune from any scrutiny.
- The father’s right to family life is abridged in reality and in practice, when every father in dissolution of marriage proceedings is forced to become a welfare client, and be subject to threats, intimidations and invasion of privacy, if and when he wishes to exercise this right.
- The right to family life is also abridged, because of the Courts and social workers requirement that the mother consent to the father’s contact with the children.
- The interpretation of “best interests of the child” does not include the fathers’ right to family life. There is absolutely no reason why the father has to suddenly prove that the child’s interest require that his father “visit” him.
ICESCR Article 10(3) – Protection of Children. The Covenant states “Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions.
The violation occurs because the state fails to protect children from Parental Alienation Syndrome and Visitations Refusals. At Family Courts, Judges do not make visitations schedules simultaneously with the award of interim custody. When fathers are ordered to take a Parental Fitness Test, one of the tests seeks to elicit and encourage the child to “snitch” on his parents, thereby placing the child in an identity crisis and parental loyalty conflict.
ICESCR Article 11 – Adequate Standard of Living. The Covenant states The right to an adequate standard of living The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.
The violation occurs mostly in the area of awarding unconscionable interim and permanent child support awards. The State authorities support the theory that extracting unconscionable child supports from a father, even when clearly he cannot afford it, is in the “best interests” of the child, even though it results in denials of almost every aspect of humane life (imprisonment, lack of bank account or credit card, inability to work, nè exeat injunctions, and going into hiding). The payments are not made anyway because they are unaffordable, and the children lose their fathers. There is no clear formula for determining child support. Women’s incomes are not considered at all. Actual income of the father is ignored by the artificial concept of “imputed income”, and the statutory minimum child support per one child is outrageously $430 monthly, in a Country where many people don’t earn more than $1,500. By contrast, in New York, the minimum is $25.
ICESCR Article 12 – The right to health. The Covenant states : “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.
The violation occurs due to relentless persecution of fathers, who are stripped of everything they own, cherish and love, including children, possessions and assets, all being transferred to their former wife, yet they are hounded by Child Support executions and levies office for the rest of their lives. All of them live stressful lives coupled with mental anguish resulting from disengagement from their children. This also brings 200 divorced fathers every year to commit suicide, compared with only 5 divorced women. The rate of suicide among divorced men is the highest in the country. When fathers commit suicide, children lose fathers, and grow up in an unhealthy environment, when they are likely to develop separation anxiety and lack of trust in society.
ICCPR Article 2(3) – Effective Remedy against persons in Official Capacity. The Covenant states “Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes: (a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity; (b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
The violation occurs due to a statutory immunity afforded to social workers, who become the actual Judges of each case. The Ministry of Welfare refuses to establish an ombudsman, or an ethical grievance committee. The CSW are “free” to torment fathers, collect libel, coerce psycho therapy sessions, ignore the social workers Manual, and encourage filing of false police complaints, as well as visitations refusals and mental alienation of the children against the fathers. Yet, there is no effective remedy against them due to immunity, which is equal to that of a Judge. Thus, the Judiciary divests its jurisdiction to determine custody and visitations disputes in favor of social workers, cloaking them with immunity from any negligent or malicious acts, thus preventing any effective remedy against the CSWs.
ICCPR Article 3 – Equal Rights of Men and Woman – The Covenant states : “The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant”.
The violation occurs in the same manner described under ICESCR Article 2(2).
ICCPR Article 7 – torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Covenant states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”.
The violation occurs, in general, when the State forces fathers to submit to the authority of a social worker, as a condition to seeing their children, yet they know in advance that they will be subject to years of character assassination.
More specifically, those fathers who must take Parental Fitness Tests, are essentially being degraded, punished, and subjected without consent to non-scientific experimentation, since such “tests” are non scientific, and all treatise on the area agree that this may be a tool for prediction, but it is highly subjective, non-scientific and non-clinical. Moreover, it is plain degrading for a the father who, devotedly raised his children during the marriage, and was certainly fit be a parent, and now all of a sudden comes the state of Israel and doubts his ability to parent, and the only difference in that the wife open dissolution of marriage case in court.
ICCPR Article 9 – Liberty’ Security and No Arbitrary Arrest. The Covenant states: “1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law”. 2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him. 3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement. 4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful. 5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation”.
The violation occurs in several respects:
- Lack of appointed counsel to those facing jail on account of non-payment of outrageous and unconscionable child support arrears.
- Ex parte detention orders and orders of removal from the marital home on the basis of the complaining woman’s allegation alone without a shred of corroboration or supporting evidence.
- Arbitrary detention of fathers disengages children. The State fails to implement procedures to screen false domestic violence complaints launched by women. Women are immune from prosecution for false DV. On the basis of accusation alone, with no evidence, police issues orders of removals of fathers from marital homes for 30 days, as well as summons for interrogation and detention. This again results in separation from, and alienation of children for an automatic 30 days period, and the automatic supervised visitations for the next several years. The State must abolish State Attorney General Guideline 2.5 (non prosecution for DV), and introduce on- the- spot polygraphs at initial DV complaints in police precincts. False and malicious complaints must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
ICCPR Article 10 – Dignity In Deprivation of Liberty – The Covenant states “1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”.
The violation occurs due to excessive training of police officers, social workers and Judges to treat all males as potential aggressors, and all females as potential “victims of violence”, regardless of the fact that on the eve of the divorce no prior DV occurrences existed. As a result, fathers are treated as guilty of DV offenses, before their guilt has been proven, by almost every official they come in contact with. Moreover, the criminal records are not expunged, even in the rare cases of dismissal or withdrawal of the DV complaint. The person’s dignity is therefore forever tarnished by a criminal, unexpunged rap sheet.
ICCPR Article 14 (1) – Equality in Courts. The Covenant states “1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.
The violation occurs in the same respect as ICCPR Article 23.
ICCPR Article 17 – Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, Honor and Reputation. The Covenant states: “1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”.
The violation occurs mostly due to compulsion of fathers to submit to the powers of social workers, who take control of their lives, and are officially trained to collect libel and defamation, intrude on the father’s privacy, beyond what is necessary for a determination of rights to access with children, and destroy reputation by way of character assassination, sometimes using “cut and paste” defamatory scripts.
ICCPR Article 18 – Freedom of Religion – The Covenant states: “1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. 2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice”.
The violation occurs in the area of child support. While the State has a civil child support statute on the books regarding equal contribution of both parents to child support, the Civil Court Judges ignore the law and compel citizens to be bound by religious law. Under religious Jewish law, the wife’s income is not taken into account, and the husband’s income is also, not taken into account. Instead it is a strict formula of multiplying a hefty “minimum” by the number of children, and then adding “extras”. As a result, outrageous child support awards are ordered, supposedly pursuant to religious law, and it deprives citizens of the right to be free from religion.
ICCPR Article 19 – Right to Opinion – The Covenant states: “1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference”.
The violation occurs in three respects:
- The State authorities are tormenting and persecuting father activists. Fathers who publish on the internet guides for other fathers, or who share their horror stories on father’s rights web sites, find themselves at Court being threatened that they will lose rights of access, if they continue educating the public on the internet, or lobbying for the change of the draconian family laws.
- Owners’ of women’s shelters send the police to search homes of fathers’ rights activists under false claims that the activists harbor illegal guns (case of Moshe Aberjil v. Ruth Reznik).
- Recently, a Judge in Tel Aviv District Family Court Judge, Mira Dahan, issued a $10,000 (35,000 NIS) penalty against a father who wrote in a blog that he is crying every night because his daughter cannot sleep at his residence. Thus the Judiciary is now forbidding freedom of private “non-activist” speech on facebook and local internet forums.
ICCPR Article 23 – Equality of Spouses in Dissolution – The Covenant states “1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State…… 4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.
The violation occurs in various areas, and we do take into account Israel’s reservation to Article 23 that “matters of personal status are governed in Israel by religious law of the parties concerned”. However, the state does not provide an option for a party to opt out, when his affiliation with religious law does not exist. Further, matter of child support awards are not ‘matters of personal status”. They are monetary/pecuniary matters, and therefore the reservation filed by Israel does not cover the unconscionable male-discrimination existing in that area, under the guise that child support should also supposed to be determined pursuant to religious law, in a civil court (despite the existence of a civil child support law, that applies to nobody).
- Family Courts deliberately procrastinate any application for relief submitted by the father, sometimes 6-12 months, while the mother’s applications are granted ex parte or within days.
- Courts refuse to conduct hearings or trials. Instead, they schedule “conferences”. The father’s attorneys are silenced, the verbal exchanges are not memorialized in a true transcript, and the Judges merely dictate to the record what they want.
- Courts refuse to summon witnesses on behalf of the husbands or cross examine social workers.
- Judicial determinations of guardianship, child access, custody and visitations without evidence, or based on evidence fabricated by a biased CSW. The fact is that the entire domain of custody and visitations is judicially handled without probative evidence or any shred of fair trial whatsoever. Every divorcing father is sent to welfare authorities for a CSW Report. The Report is a collection of libel and defamatory, non-credible evidence, together with some intuitions and “sensations” of the social worker. Based on that alone, Courts “so order” the CSW report, even if it “sentences” fathers to be automatically separated and alienated from children. This feeds a booming industry of contact centers, social workers and psychologists, at the expense of the children.
- Family Courts erect every obstacle possible to Joint Custody. It is an undefined concept and almost impossible to achieve, because of the practice of automatic interim custody to the wife, without any actual evidentiary hearing.
- The State fails to address the concept of shared parenting or joint custody. While the State triumphs the wording in the Guardian and Capacity Law that requires parents to mutually agree, in fact this is a mockery, since in divorce, parents cannot agree, and when women get instant custody, and fathers do not get parallel visitations, the women gets veto rights on such visitation. When the women are motivated by revenge, or instigated by the Social Workers the children are rendered fatherless again.
ICCPR Article 24 (1) – Protection of Child. The Covenant states: “Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State”.
The violation occurs due to systematic practices and policies of Courts and social workers to disengage fathers from children, in every case where the woman opposes the visitations. The level of Parental alienation Syndrome (“PAS”) is the highest in the world. Although it may be confused with Visitations Refusal, it is a parallel phenomenon. The State refuses to recognize that children need equal and qualitative access to both their parents without intervention of authorities, and without compelling fathers to spend tens of thousands of dollars to win the judicial “grace” of awarding some minimal visitations.
In fact, Court cases repeatedly utilize warped interpretation of the concept of “Best Interests of the Child”. Courts have no problem declaring that the child’s best interests are not served by seeing his father. That could happen on many grounds: refusal to cooperate with social workers, mother’ withholding of consent, or simply calling the father “litigious” or stubborn for refusing to accept minimal vitiations, and fighting for more access.
The State fails to define what the “best interest” of the child is. Ironically, social workers who procrastinate in preparing Visitations Reports and thus create lengthy separation and alienation periods, actually invoke the best interests of the child to “justify” the denial of parental contact. Similarly, when fathers are ordered to attend supervised visitation (and hour or two per week), they still invoke the “best interest of the child” to justify even more separation periods from the child.
ICCPR Article 26 – Equal Protection and No Discrimination – The Covenant states: “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
The violation occurs in many respects, as describe elsewhere above.
In conclusion, the laws affecting Human rights and CRC implementation in Israel are either plain discriminatory, or implemented in a discriminatory manner. Fathers are separated and alienated from children, and children routinely lose one parent during the divorce. The State of Israel is responsible for a whole generation of de-facto orphans with living parents, sometimes two blocks away.
Wherefore, I ask that the Human Rights Council find this Complaint admissible, and work with the State of Israel towards compliance with the State’s international undertakings.