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.

 

 

 

 

 

PCDCR Holds General Assembly Meeting for 2011

Gaza- Information Unit:
Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution held the meeting of general assembly for the year 2011 on Thursday June 14. They discussed the financial and administrative report for 2011 and the budget of the year 2012 in addition to hire the external auditor for the year 2012.

The registrar of companies Emad El Baz, representatives of Ministry of National Economy, PCDCR lawyer and external auditor attended the meeting.

After completing the quorum, Chairman of PCDCR board Khaled Zeidan led the meeting and discussed the report with the attendance then they adopted it unanimously. They also agreed on renewing the contract of the external auditor from Talal abu Ghazalah who worked in the last year to be valid for the year 2012.

PCDCR Calls For Adopting Minimum Wages Law in West Bank.

Nablus- Information Unit:

Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution called the government to adopt the minimum wages law by activating the role of labor unit, providing labor- based courts to follow- up the workers’ issues and strengthening the cooperation among Ministry of Labor and NGOs to secure the workers’ rights in their work.

These recommendations have been excluded after implementing 12 workshops and meetings with workers and NGOs within the project ” Active citizenship for adopting Minimum Wage Law” in cooperation with CRS in the sex WB governorates.

Ahmed Abu Ayesh, Nablus PCDCR Director said that adopting this law will improve the living standards for poor and vulnerable people. It will also contribute in alleviating the differences among people as well as achieving the social peace among workers and encouraging them to improve their performance in their work.

In his side, the project coordinator Esam Oda clarified the tough economic conditions of workers during the cost of living. He also highlighted the injustice against women worked in sewing, kindergartens and cleaning.

Since their salaries are not enough to cover their needs and demands of life.
He completed ” we contacted Ministry of Labor and inspection department in particular in order to increase the number of staff to be able to follow-up workers’ issues in WB governorates as well as providing legal support for them in the coming period”.

He also mentioned that the health insurance and retirement law for workers are only valid in the area of residence.

At the end of those workshops, workers emphasized on the importance of holding such these workshops in order to raise their awareness regarding their legal rights.

Annual Meeting of the General Assembly.

Annual meeting has been held for the General Assembly members of the center in Gaza Strip and West Bank (by video conference) on Thursday corresponding July 21st 2011 at 4 PM. Mr. Emad Al Bas, Registrar of companies in Ministry of National Economy attended the meeting to discuss and ratify the annual financial and administrative report and to adopt the external auditor for 2011.

After the quorum completion, Mr. Saeed EL Maqadmah, member of board of directors led the meeting on behalf of the head of the Board.

The members thanked PCDCR’s staff and appreciated their efforts in serving Palestinian people.

Finally, the financial and administrative report for 2010 has been ratified unanimously and Mr. Talal Abu Ghazalah was selected to be the external auditor for 2011.

Workshop entitled ” Juveniles’ status in Palestinian Laws”

PCDCR implemented a workshop under the title of Juveniles’ status in Palestinian Laws with the attendance of PCDCR lawyers, members of General Prosecution, judges and officers in Ministry of Interior on June 15th Khan Younes.

The lawyer, Khaled El Astal pointed out the main Palestinian laws concerning juveniles and in application. He asserted that the center is ready to present legal services to them under the coordination of General Prosecution and Ministry of Interior.

Officers in Ministry of Interior highlighted to their treatment with juveniles while interrogation in Police stations. They also affirmed the importance of rewriting and activating the laws in order to be applicable until enacting new laws. Whereas the applied law was enacted since 1937.
They also asserted to the role of both civil society organizations to protect the juveniles.