UK Media Watch prompts correction to Human Rights Watch photo illustrating child labor report

Earlier today, we posted about a correction prompted by our office to a misleading photo used by The Telegraph to illustrate their story on a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the alleged use of Palestinian child labor by Israeli farms in the Jordan Valley.

As we noted, both The Telegraph and HRW used the same photo, one which most readers would assume depicted a Palestinian child laborer being illegally employed by an Israeli farm. However, the photo (a Reuters photo from 2010) actually depicts a Palestinian child laborer being illegally employed by a Palestinian owned farm.

Our office also contacted HRW yesterday to alert them about the error and, just a few minutes ago, we learned that HRW similarly changed their photo.  (HRW informed us that their office had reached out to The Telegraph to inform them of the error after receiving our email.)

Here’s the original HRW photo illustrating their 74 page report.


Now, here’s the new photo.


HRW issued this correction:


The caption for the new photo, on the last page of the report, notes that the image depicts “Palestinian laborers, including a 16-year-old, head out to work at a farm on an Israeli settlement in the West Bank…© 2015 Matt Ford for Human Rights Watch”. However, it’s important to stress that, per HRW’s own report, 16 year olds are legally permitted to work. The International Labor Organization (ILO) Conventions, which Israel is party to, reportedly only prohibits children under 18 from performing “hazardous” work. It’s of course entirely unclear what kind of farm work the Palestinians depicted in the new photo are engaged in.

Nonetheless, we commend HRW for replacing the original highly misleading photo.

15 replies »

    • @Fergus Quadro –

      “…more than 160 children killed while digging tunnels for Gaza”

      That figure comes from a journal’s editorial error – for which correction and apology were published in August 2014 – and it STILL gets repeated ad nauseam.

      For the record (from ):

      “Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference on 6 August 2014 cited the Journal of Palestine Studies as the authoritative source documenting the claim that Hamas puts children to work in ‘terror’ tunnels, sending them to their death. This naked fabrication has been repeated by numerous pro-Israeli media outlets …, In question is a summer 2012 JPS article by Nicolas Pelham entitled ‘Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege’ …

      “The tunnels referred to in his article were the commercial tunnels to Egypt …

      “The Journal of Palestine Studies must, however, admit to an unfortunate editorial error in the article by Pelham it printed: the figure of 160 children killed in commercial tunnels is inaccurate. In the JPS text, Pelham purportedly says: ‘At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials.’ Rather, the figure 160 reflects the total number of deaths in the tunnels recorded by the Hamas authorities as of 2012. The qualifier ‘children’ was inadvertently added by JPS at a late stage of editing. In fact, as of January 2013, al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza put the total number of Palestinians killed in the commercial tunnels at 235, only 9 of whom were children. It also noted that by that time another 20 Palestinians had been killed inside tunnels as a result of Israeli air strikes. We accept responsibility for this error and apologize for it.”

      No doubt both the “160 children” figure, coupled with that entirely made-up “terror” tunnels detail, will continue to be recycled all over the place. But hopefully not on this website from now on. The fact that nine kids were killed working on ANY kind of tunnel is quite bad enough without being hyped up to such ludicrous heights.

      • It’s so ludicrous that Western Zionists (of all people) would complain about the hundreds of millions global relief dollars used to build tunnels that were to be used for kidnapping and murdering Israelis. I mean, how preposterous can one get?

        Bunch of batshit apologists on this planet who are afraid of facing the reality in front of their eyes as opposed to the “facts” and “numbers” in their head, amiright?

        Like 19,,000 shot missiles in response to 3 peace deals.

        Crazy shit, Homies.

        • Well, what and whom is when exactly to believe? The first or the second version? Obviously the journal was forced to retreat after the public reception of Netnjahus hint.
          And funny, this apology for the Hamas, when the journal calls the citing of the journal by Netanjahu a naked fabrication. So there are no dead children due to digging tunnels?
          Maybe that is the truth: The journal of Palestinian Studies is a naked fabrication? Well, that`s fitting. And some complete idiots, that is, haters of a Jewish state like Basner, you may call them specialised antisemites, believe everything what a Hamas defending journal claims.

      • Obviously you prefer defending Hamas and Palestinians who illegally employ youths to examining false accusations or faux against Israel.
        If it were not you, a specialised antisemite, i would recommend to do some research on your own about the economy and the terroristic use of tunnels instead of copypasting a ridiculous excuse and a personal diffmation.

      • Fergus Quadro How soon after JPS printed 160 children dead from working the Tunnels, did Hamas try to correct the error? How can you account for JPS making a glaring mistake like this one? What was their excuse or reason? They are an award winning newspaper. I know that Hamas is well known for reporting information accurately. Let’s say for a moment your figures corrects. Why were those 9 dead children building a military infrastructure contravening the Geneva Convention and UN rules regarding children working and especially at dangerous jobs? Candidly I don’t believe even the Gazans would believe 9 – Children. By the way the purpose of these tunnels is not a secret. Your own Hamas Spox Sammy Abu-Zhuri likes to talk and clearly explained the tunnel system, purpose , who built it and funding even hoe Hamas officer used them as shelters while Gazans were forced human shields. It was at that point someone from Hamas shut him up

  1. Hahaha. Talking about shooting one’s own foot. Now why, after this mistake would one believe the whole HRW report on child labour perpetuated by Israelis on Palestinian children?

  2. Great work Ladies&Gentleman, this is one 1 lie In the dustbin. We knew they would develop new ones at HRW (an oxymoron). We will deal with each one as they shove them out and disprove it.

  3. The HRW Report needs one more correction to make it accurate. It needs to replace the word “Israeli” with “Palestinian.” But I guess that just changing the photo was easier.

    • My point being that they already have photo evidence of child labor being used on Palestinian farms (and none on Israeli farms). Is it possible that some intelligent British news editor could figure this out?