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Incarcerated Childhood and the Politics of Unchilding: An International Law Perspective

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin | Published on March 30, 2021

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian has brought a new and powerful concept of “unchilding” into our scholarly vocabulary and discourse (17). Her recent book is a powerful exposition of the lifecycle and experience of the Palestinian child living under occupation. It complements a comprehensive body of work which examines the life of women at the frontlines of occupation, the security theocracy which underpins occupation, as well as a prodigious documentation over many years of the most intimate aspects of human life including birthing and dying under occupation. She is, without doubt, the foremost feminist scholar who has long exposed the capillaries of life experiences under belligerent occupation in one of the longest military occupations on the planet, that of life lived in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As a feminist international lawyer, I take the opportunity to review this book through the lens of the law and practice of belligerent occupation, and to frame the experience of children living under occupation through a legal frame drawing on international human rights law as well as international humanitarian law.

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