The participants expressed their desire to identify, document, and highlight violations in marginalized areas.
YOUNG HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS’ ROLE IN PALESTINIAN SOCIETY
The Palestinian Association for Empowerment and Local Development- REFORM carried out two training sessions on the principles of local and international laws and legislations governing human rights. They took place over a period of six days with the participation of 60 political and community activists from the governorates of Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Jericho, and Hebron. These sessions aim to develop the capacities of young human rights defenders in the performance of their work and enhance their awareness of the laws and conventions governing international and local human rights to be used to defend human rights violations in their areas.
Rawan Sharqawi, the Project Coordinator at REFORM, stressed that this project comes within the framework of the Association’s vision to promote the values of pluralistic and democratic public freedoms in Palestine. Due to the failure of the Legislative Council in 2007 and the events witnessed in the Palestinian arena concerning violation of citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly and expression guaranteed by these laws, Ms. Sharqawi pointed out that these phenomena contribute to deepening the alignment on a regional and partisan basis.
BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS CONCEPTS
The training focused on reviewing basic human rights concepts in international conventions and domestic legislation, introducing participants to international mechanisms for the protection of whistle-blowers and human rights defenders, as well as international NGOs working in the field of human rights. The participants also defined the mechanisms for monitoring violations, analyzing the reality of the rights of marginalized groups such as women, children, and persons with disabilities in Palestine along with the extent to which international standards and local laws are applied in respect of human rights.
Within the framework of supporting human rights defenders and enabling them to carry out their work, they were introduced to the rules of conduct for human rights defenders, service providers towards beneficiaries and citizens, their role and mechanisms of work, and international organizations active in the field of human rights.
SOCIAL AND POLITICAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN PALESTINE
The participants discussed several issues of social and political human rights violations in Palestine and analyzed the laws and legislations governing them and how to deal with them legally. The participants also expressed their desire to identify, document, and highlight violations in marginalized areas to reduce them. They also strive to network with human rights institutions, support them in defending human rights violations in marginalized areas, document violations, and frame them in the laws governing them.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
These training events were carried out with the support of the representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, as part of the “A Voice for Human Rights” project. It seeks to support human right defenders in the performance of their work, contribute to their protection, and promote their right to documentation. Also, it aims to introduce them to the human rights violations that occur in Palestine, strengthen their capacity to monitor and document human those violations, and raise their awareness in international laws and human rights conventions, such as the Palestinian Basic Law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that was issued in 1966.
Further, this project intends to empower the target groups to acquire a structural impact on the reality of the relationship between the community components in the targeted areas, promote the effective use of the media in monitoring violations against marginalized groups, especially women, and raise community awareness on human rights issues through public debate.