Strong, independent and effective, the Ombudsman is the place to contact to report and receive help regarding the infringement of children's rights.
The National Council for the Child's Ombudsman for Children and Youth was established in 1990 to defend and protect Israel's children against violence, cruelty, exploitation, depravation, neglect and other forms of maltreatment and to serve as an advocate for children in all aspects of life.
Every year we receive approximately 10,000 complaints by phone or mail from across the country, covering a wide variety of problems – from children who are sexually or physically abused at home or in school to those unjustifiably arrested or taken advantage of at work. Other complaints include child pornography, failure to enforce legislation, the lack of appropriate educational and rehabilitation frameworks and supervision over unsatisfactory educational, health and welfare services.
The OCY addresses each call for help individually, through a variety of different methods of intervention, appropriate to the needs and best interest of each child. Whether it is providing information and advice on a subject concerning the child's rights, directing and coordinating the proper services towards the realization of his rights, mediating disputes, monitoring services responsible for children's rights or campaigning before the authorities, the OCY is the child's advocate, always representing the child's rights and best interest.
When a number of callers report a similar event, we intervene on a macro level by preparing legislative amendments, working to raise public awareness, educating families and professionals, and lobbying before Knesset Members and other policy makers. These cases include children without health insurance, those in need of special education and immigrant children not receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.
Cases such as illegal interrogation by the police or children in need of separate representation in court require intervention on a legal level and are referred to the NCC Center for the Child and the Law.
The Ombudsman serves immigrant children from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia with professionals from those respective communities, who speak the language and understand the culture of these children, often misunderstood and mistreated, and lacking the necessary information and skills needed in their new home. Recently services have also been designated to provide special attention and intervention towards protecting the rights and wellbeing of children and youth in placement outside of their home (including children in rehabilitative and post-hospitalization frameworks, educational boarding schools particularly for at-risk children and youth removed from their homes, and children in the foster care system).
Over and above all, our OCY staff has the influence and expertise to resolve cases previously unsolved. We are often the last resource, the last port of call for children in distress.
This service is provided free to all who seek our help thanks to the support of NCC's caring and generous donors in Israel and abroad.