Preparedness Makes a Difference””

” Preparedness Makes a Difference” a workshop was held by the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), Khan Younis branch, to present “Partnership for Community led Actions for Resilience and Livelihood” project’s achievements. This project aimed to improve the weak and local community capacities through reinforcing risk confrontation’s procedures.

The first session addressed the detailed and most important achievements of the target groups of the project as (children, psychologists, and parents) and of the topics of the sessions such as (Psychological Resilience, and the Risk of Explosive Remnants of War and How to Deal with Them). Moreover, six local committees composed of some local organizations and activists were presented in the session. To illustrate, these committees represented six areas targeted in the project (Absan Al-Kabira, Rafah, Al-Shouka, Al-Shujayia, Jabalia, Beit Lahia) and they have been trained on several topics such as First Aid ,and Emergency Management. A series of meetings were held with the constituted committees to identify the needs of the target areas before danger which were created based on the focus groups implemented in the project.

The second session presented plans for the risk reduction for each area which were composed by the local committees that work in the target areas. In addition, the session discussed intervene and confrontation procedures.

At the beginning of the workshop, Mr. Saeed Al-Maqadma, PCDCR’s General Director, delivered a speech explaining the importance of partnership and he welcomed all partners: Save Children Organization , Palestinian Agriculture Relief Committee (PARC), and Palestinian Medical Relief Society. Al-Maqadma emphasized the importance of local committees as they are considered essential parts of the project.

Mr. Ibrahim Sbaih, the representative of the Save Children Organization, stressed the importance of committees’ role in achieving the project success and he thanked all partners for their efforts in achieving the project success. Ms. Shorouq Jendia gave a talk – on behalf of PARC- explaining the project achievements and its role in improving the marginalized families’ financial situation.

At the end, the participants represented their recommendations and proposals to upgrade the project in the coming phase of the project.

PCDCR Organizes a Seminar about “Legal Study on the Housing Projects as an Equal Exchange for Gaza Government’s Employees”

The Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) organized a seminar about “Legal Study on the Housing Projects as an Equal Exchange for Gaza Government’s Employees”.   Different work papers related to the main topic of the seminar had been submitted by significant figures who participated in this seminar such as Secretary General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mr. Nafith El-Madhoun , Legal Advisor Mr. Abdul Karim Shabbir , head of Land Authority Ibrahim Radwan , vice-president of the Palestinian  Bar  Association Salama Bseiso ,and  vice-president of land authority Hassan Abu Riala”.  A group of lawyers, counselors, dignitaries, and mayors had attended the seminar, too.

Yunis Al-Tahrawy, the coordinator of “Toward a More Responsive Justice System in the Gaza Strip (Estijaba)” project  which is funded by UNDP, indicated that this event is a part of the project activities. Al-Tahrawy mentioned that the subject of this seminar came up from the proposal which was supposed to be submitted to the Gazan government, about establishing housing projects for government employees as an equal exchange for their dues.

Al- Tahrawy stated that organizing this workshop is one of our responsibilities to find out how far this proposal could be compatible with the provision of law. Additionally, he added that this workshop is held with such specialists to conduct a legal study for the proposal.

Important recommendations were the outcome of this productive seminar; the legal affairs unit in PCDCR will organize another meeting to follow up  this matter with both  the Land Authority and the concerned authorities in the coming days.

The secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Nafith El-Madhoun pointed out that the housing project is under progress since the 90s, stressing that the employees who have been serving out for ten years have the right to have a house as provided in Basic Law, article 26 ” Having an appropriate house is a right to every citizen and the Palestinian Authority  seeks to  provide a house to those who have not a house to live in. El-Madhoun explained that the project will not target the fixed income employees or private sector employees, but the process is dealing with the lands regarding the price of each meter of land. the owner of the given land has the right to sell his land like any private land, which will be not considered as a waste of the government funds.

For equality insurance between the government employees and the citizens, the secretary -general of the Palestinian Legislative Council declared that land parceling will be under the responsibility  of the head of Land Authority, and the Legislative Council’s role is restricted to overseeing the parceling process. The only difference between employees and citizens will be in payment only.

The legal advisor, Abdul Karim Shubir, acknowledged that land parceling is illegal as the only one who can give permission to privatize lands is the President Mahmoud Abbas, and there is a decree provides for that the lands of the government are given away only through a concerned committee. This committee is composed by several ministries, with the authorization of the president himself, explaining that selling the lands to employees for free-market prices will not serve the citizens.

Ibrahim Radwan stated that “there is a misconception about parceling of lands, resenting the way of dealing with the issue”. He added, “we had not any plan regarding  land parceling, but we had accredited plans from the legal system  regarding the housing project from 1994 till 2011 with the underlie on housing associations“. “In my point of view, the big dilemma of salaries is a crime against humanity, and we are trying with these housing projects to alleviate the problem which could not be solved completely”, Radwan said.  Also, he affirmed that he has the ability to manage this process by sealing on the act on behalf of the president, highlighting that the issue will be under study until it can  be addressed in front of the court.

The former general deputy of lawyers, and a member of the Arab Lawyers Union ,Mr. Salama Bseiso blamed the political division for all the faced difficulties, and a lot of serious problems will come out after executing the plan of land parceling, like how to deal with the dues of the employees that will come after taking  his prior dues which are before 2016.  With condemning that the housing units will not  be sufficient to the employees’ needs and living expenses.  Bseiso said that if  these projects  will include also citizens as stipulated by the law of 1994, this will be fine.

 

The vice-president of Land Authority, Hassan Abu Ryala, believed that the project will not reset employees’ dues, and that housing projects are not governed by law but is governed by a verdict. He also mentioned that “there is not any land registered by the name of the president, but by the name of the Palestinian Authority, and that those who are willing to register and have the Palestinian citizenship, they have the right to apply for the project, and there is no one will be rejected even the employees who refrain from work “. Abu Riala said that “the Higher Committee will run the project until the problem is resolved”.

At the end of the meeting, different questions were directed to the head of the Land Authority, his deputy, the representative of the Palestinian Legislative Council, lawyers, and specialists. The answers of the question were that the president approved the housing  projects, and the project is not obligatory for all the employees, as it is not an adhesion contract, and it will not substitute the full dues of the employees.

 

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A Workshop entitled ” The Role of Reconciliation Figures in Strengthening Juvenile Justice in Gaza Strip”

The Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) held a workshop entitled “The Role of Reconciliation Figures in Strengthening Juvenile Justice in the Gaza Strip”. This workshop was a part of Juvenile Justice’s project activities funded by Terre Des Hommes and it aimed to provide legal and social services for the Juveniles who are in conflict with the law.

The Workshop discussed a worksheet by Mr. Mohammed Anaba about “The Role of Reconciliation Committees in dealing with juvenile cases. In addition, a worksheet was introduced by Mr. Younis Al-Tahrawi, PCDCR’s Legal Unit’s Coordinator, and it was about the restorative justice and the necessity of its implementation.

A number of recommendation were proposed through the discussion which included the followings:

  • Activating the role of reconciliation figures to prevent children from committing a crime by monitoring their actions and addressing the reasons that can lead them to commit crimes such as poverty, and lack of suitable house.
  • Intensifying the responsibility of the Palestinian state in caring about the juveniles cases in all life-oriented economic, social, and cultural.
  • Taking into account the balance of forces between the conflicting parties by the reconciliation figures while the restorative process.
  • Having a better and essential communication between the police man and the reconciliation figure when receiving any complain in order to prevent any acceleration in the problem.
  • Considering the juvenile as a society victim which meant that he should not be sentenced to imprisonment or penalty. Therefore, it is enough to put the juvenile under the monitoring of a good member in his family. In the case of absence of this kind of family member, juvenile can be put under the monitoring of a probation officer in Al-Rabea’ Association.
  • Reforming the juvenile’s laws in order to consist with modernity and development and to treat the juvenile as a victim rather than a criminal according to law.
  • Dealing with juveniles should be different from dealing with adults and juveniles should had a special uniform in Al-Rabea’ Assocaition.
  • The necessity of having a special police for juveniles in Gaza Strip which should have the skills and knowledge in dealing with juveniles. The policemen should not wear their formal uniform.
  • Establishing entertainment places for children to spend their free time for their own benefit and to prevent them from committing crimes.
  • Developing reconciliation figures’ skills in dealing with juveniles through training and having better knowledge about the law.
  • Proving a social assurance to the head of the family to provide the basic needs to his/her family.
  • Providing awareness projects to the parents about their roles in protecting their children and preventing them from committing crimes. In addition, to activating reconciliation figures role in disseminating the culture of tolerance and good manners.
  • Separating juveniles from adults while detaining them and judging should be done quickly to protect our children from committing crimes.

Declaration of Position Paper about Improving a Protective Environment for Children From Sexual Abuse

A workshop was held by the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolutions (PCDCR) to declare a Position Paper about improving a protective environment for children from sexual abuse

Saed al-Maqadma, PCDCR’s Director General, explained that child sexual abuse grossly violates child rights and it is considered as  a grave crime. Most children and families don’t report any of the abuse cases for fear of disgrace and they distrust the authorities. As a result, PCDCR is worried about the increase of child sexual abuse cases.

Project’s achievement presented the presence of more than 1017 children have been harassed sexually. However, the project targeted solely the north and the south governorates. The project included many activities, workshops and round tables implemented with directly relevant bodies such as: Police, the Public Prosecution, Judiciary, Forensic Medicine, and Civil Society Organizations.

Based on the Position Paper presented to the PM Ramy al-Hamdallah by PCDCR, a petition was formed to collect the largest number of signatures on the field and electronic sides. The petition calls for:

  • Expediting the Palestinian Penal Code of 2003 draft approval according to the international standards of human and child rights with some necessary changes to increase deterrence in sexual crimes.
  • Establishing especial courts with a specialized prosecutor and judiciary to concern about these sexual crimes in order to protect sexual abuse victims all over the country.
  • Establishing safe homes for sexual abuse victims especially when the perpetrator belong to the same family or the victim family is disjoined and does not provide him/her a supportive environment.
  • Establishing rehabilitation centers to rehabilitate the  perpetrators psychologically and socially after their sentence expiration.
  • Assigning a sufficient number of Forensic Physicians and training them to be qualified, in addition to rehabilitate central criminal laboratories.
  • Strengthening enrichment activities for children to raise awareness about sexual abuse, and to push the Ministry of Education into enhancing the role of the consolers and principals in such issues.
  • Constituting a commission committee to look for the reasons behind the closure of the child sexual abuse issues.

 

It’s notable to mention that this workshop was a part of ” a Protective Environment for Children from Sexual Abuse” project’s activities to protect children from sexual abuse by using community protection mechanisms.

The International Human Rights 67th Anniversary: Shujaiya’s Children Send a Peace Message to the World

(Gaza Strip, 10 December 2015) – The Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution (PCDCR) joined the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in celebrating the 67th anniversary of The International Human Rights Day. The celebration placed in Gaza’s Shujaiya, which is considered as an icon for human rights violations in 2014 war since it suffered from one of the most brutal attacks  from the Israel. Shujaiya’s massacre is another crime that should be added to Israel’s bloody history against the Palestinian people.

The event included a speech for Iyad Abu Hajir, PCDCR’s deputy director, in which he explained that “The International Human Rights Day passes at a time when the rights and freedom of the Palestinian children are grossly violated, particularly the right to adequate housing, whereas an awful lot of destroyed houses are still unremoved. As they are deprived of the right of traveling and medical treatment, they also lost their right from living as safe as the rest of the world’s children”.

Abu Hajir added, “despite all the misery that the Palestinian children are living, they are sending a message of love and peace to the world by celebrating this anniversary with hope for a much better future”.

The deputy director of OHCHR in the occupied territories confirmed during his speech that the children of Shujaiya neighborhood are celebrating The International Human Rights Day, in spite of all the tough times they suffered. He also stressed that “the Palestinian children have the right to live like any other children in the world, and OHCHR will always work as hard as they can to support and insure their rights”.

A fabulous crowd of children attended the event, where they enjoyed several shows and operettas which expressed their feelings and ideas about the status of the human rights, particularly as they suffered greatly in the last massacre upon Gaza.

Moreover, dozens of balloons, with children’s desired right written on it, were released in the celebration as a message and gesture of peace for the children of the world. In the conclusion of the celebration, symbolic gifts were given for the Gazan children.

 

PCDCR Hosted a Meeting with the Network of Legal Aid

The Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution hosted the special meeting for Network of Legal Aid Providers which are constituted by UNDP. Aya Basheer, a representative person for the Rule of Law Program and as a series of representative for the partners were in the meeting, too.

At the beginning, Mr. Younis Al-Tahrawi, Estijaba’s Project Coordinator, presented the achievements related to the crowded prisons as  the legal unit  has constituted a special committee to take the necessary procedures related to the fast trials.This committee included the Attorney General, Judiciary, and Prisons Administration.

Dr. Tareq al-Deirawi mentioned Legal Rooting of Article 48 from the Palestinian Penal. The other partners talked about their organizations’ achievements. Another meeting will be held in the coming days.

It is notable that Estigaba project is the project of “Toward More Responsive Justice System in Gaza Strip”  which is  funded by UNDP and aims to improve the justice system in Gaza Strip.    بr the  committee tuted a  unit made their best to constitute a special committee hDCR)

PCDCR Conclude the Debate: Al-Azhar University defeated Gaza University

The Gaza Strip – 08 December 2015, with the funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolutions (PCDCR) concluded the final debate. The debate was about “Distributing the Governmental Lands on the Staff will Improve their Life Standard” as a part of “Youth for Civil Peace” project activities.

Actually, the final debate was between al-Azhar and Gaza Universities’ students who adopted two different point of views. Gaza university team was with the idea and the al-Azhar university was against whereas their point of views based on reasons and documents. they confirmed their opinions according to reports, statistics, and press declarations of important figures related to the subject. In addition, the legal, political and humanitarian sides of the subject were mentioned in the debate and as a result there were an interactive discussion about some issues such as: the legal body which has the right to declare a such decision and reality of this decision in terms of the lands size intended to be distributed.

The judges set the results based on a selection criteria to evaluate which group is the winner. Al-Azhar university defeated Gaza university.

Hanan al-Dalou, project coordinator, highlighted that PCDCR have been working with the Palestinian universities students to improve their debating skills for months. This aims to promote dialogue culture and civil peace terms when they adopt their issues and to help them to use modern styles in dialogue.

It is worth noting that, the participants received certificates and the winner team was honored at the end. PCDCR’s administration honored the deputies of the Palestinian universities and the judges who cooperate positively to achieve success.

Specialized Justice is Accomplished Justice

The Palestinian Center for Conflict Resolution (PCDCR), associated with UNDP, set up a conference under the title “Specialized Justice is Accomplished Justice”. The conference took a part in “Toward a More Responsive Justice System in the Gaza Strip” project, which embraces the idea of the independence of the judiciary, perfecting an accomplished justice, and supporting human rights and liberty.

Specialists in this event affirmed the importance of reconciliation between the Palestinian parties, to pave a way for judicial independence and legislation standardizing. All have to be done to go along with the international conventions and community needs. In addition, taking on the specialized judiciary as a methodology for the advancement of the judicial actions, to part the word justice from all political bickering.

Sa’eed El-Maqadmah, PCDCR’s general manager, opened the conference with a speech laid great emphasis upon bringing an end for the division between the Palestinian sides, and enabling the highly qualified judiciary.

Aya Basheer, spokeswoman of UNDP, in her speech she stressed that the basic core for participatory democracy is the effective justice system. The system that would immerse women and other vulnerable groups into legal fields which related to citizenship and human rights insurance.

The first session of the conference has been commenced by the lawyer Hamid Es-Samak, who threw a light on judicial specialization, and the great leap forward that it would make to the accomplished justice. He also said the constitutional law provides for judicial independence and timely disposition of cases, aside from advocating the establishment of Islamic courts, military courts, administrative courts, and constitutional courts. However, civil and commercial procedure law sorted the jurisdictions of courts by the type of the case and the domestic jurisdiction. Furthermore, he added that the horrible division between the Palestinian parties is the only barrier between community and the legislative process.

The representative of the public prosecutor said that the cornerstone for justice system is to adopt specialization among courts of general jurisdiction. All rely upon establishing fine prosecutors and courts, coupled with efficient staff, and making sound judgments. Side by side with provision of legal services that would include specialization in different matters, and the use of modern techniques. Additionally, he gave a particular emphasis to the specialization of judges, and the functional training programs that the body of public prosecutors shall receive. Also, to work more efficiently on forensics and to deal with justice chaos, to be all in a line with the international conventions.

 

Police representative, We’am Mattar, noted the particular role of the project of juvenile police in justice system. The project that aims to work on conflicts resolution, cases disposition, investigation process, legal proceedings, and rehabilitation programs for criminals to re-integrate them into the society.

In the second session of the conference, the lawyer Safi Ad-dahdouh mentioned the vision of the bar association toward judicial specialization. He indicated to the desired integrated judicial system and strategy development to eliminate the judicial division, in order to put a mechanism for the specialized justice. Also to find a fine place for justice process to be done, provide the typical administrative staff and to create rules for justice away from the political squabbles.

For his part, Aymen Abd-Alal outlined the Egyptian experience in the judicial specialization, pointing to the establishment of commercial courts and juvenile courts as an example for the specialized courts in Egypt, in the sake of timely disposition of cases. He also shed some light on lawsuits of the economic courts, and juvenile courts that regulated by child welfare law.

The conference came with a number of discussions, plus recommendations for breaking off the division to fulfill the judiciary integration. Another suggestions to increase the number of the qualified personnel in all justice facilities and standardizing the legislations, to get them all in consonance with the international conventions. Also to learn from the neighboring countries experiences, especially Egypt, by establishing a specialized courts and procuratorates, enhancing training programs and enforcing sentences expeditiously, to get all rights ensured.

 

 

 

PCDCR Rounded off the Semi-Finals Round of the Debates’ Club

Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution has completed the semi-finals  round of the debates’ club which is a part of Youth for Civil Peace project that is funded by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Gaza strip and West Bank. The project promotes the civil peace among the Palestinian youth.

Two separate debates were held between universities of Gaza Strip which are qualified for the second round of the competition. The first debate was held between Gaza University versus The Islamic University of Gaza, which ended by Gaza university winning the debate. The second debate  was between Al-Quds Open University of the middle area branch versus Al-Azhar University  and  Al-Azhar University win the debate as  Al-Quds Open University has retreated from the competition. As a result, Al-Azhar University and Gaza University will be the finalists in this competition.

All based on the results declared by the jury panel that is composed by Sami Ghuneim, Wael Balousha, and the project coordinator, Hanan Al-Dalou.

According to PCDCR, this competition aims to refine youth’s debating skills and to help them to raise their voices to get to the high positions as a way to claim their rights using arguments, indicators and evidence. The first phase of the project offered an extensive training program for the students through a group of high qualified trainers covering several topics as (Debates’ Mechanisms – Citizenship and Community Accountability).

The competition featured eight universities in both Gaza strip and West Bank, four of them are from the universities of Gaza Strip. Internal completions has been done inside the universities’ campuses and a representative team has been qualified to participant in the semi-final round of the competition.

 

 

 

 

 

Confused Mom,and Afraid Son

Sh. K is a child has 11 years old. She and her mother attended  in a family center; since the child seemed to be so frightened and disturbed. The mother narrated her story that in a night of the last war, the child family was Foreshadowed to leave their home in order to be shelled; where their children were sleeping.

The parents carried their children quickly and move outside the home. During that, the first rocket was fallen. The children became scaring and crying. Then warplane shelled the area instead of them. Sh.K has seen the bomb and lost her consciousness.

From that time the child became so scared, Adjacent to her mother, suffered from nightmares and bedwetting as well as low educational achievement. The child was transferred to the counselor.

An intervention plan was organized for the child including relaxation, positive imagination and thinking to alleviate the negative thinking of the war, positive dialogue with the child to strengthen the self- trust. In additions, many trainings were implemented to help the child go to the bathroom at night to get rid of bedwetting. 

After 13 sessions, it was noticed that Sh.K. became more self-confident and felt safety with her family.  In additions, her educational achievement was increased.