Program Contribution to the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

Project completed
People standing for the rights to work for people with special needs in Ramallah, December 2014 ©ICHR

ICHR is the National Palestinian human rights institution, and an active player and basic pillar in building a democratic and viable Palestinian state. The success of ICHR to promote respect for human rights will assist Palestinians to assert their rights and accordingly enhance long term prospects for peace.

SDC has been contributing to ICHR since 2002 through a Joint Financing Arrangement that harmonizes the contributions of a five member donors’ consortium that also includes representatives from Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, each making an equal contribution. However, since 2008, the PA has contributed 5% of ICHR’s funding from its own budget, with the consortium continuing to contribute the remainder.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Media & freedom of information
01.01.2014 - 31.03.2017
CHF 1'405'000

Volatile conditions in the oPt linked to continuous situation of occupation and contested peace process. Violations of human rights by all duty bearers. No tangible Palestinian reconciliation on the horizon and rather worsening changes on the ground. These challenges have negative impacts on the status of human rights and on ICHR’s working environment itself.


To protect and promote human rights in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights law, applying a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA).

Target groups

Palestinian authorities, Legislative Council members, civil institutions (courts), security agencies & Palestinian victims of human rights violations in the oPt

Medium-term outcomes
  • Promotion of a human rights culture in the Palestinian society;
  • Enhancement of the justice systems in accordance with international human rights standards;
  • Promotion of international mechanisms for the defense of human rights;
  • Development of institutional performance of ICHR as a national institution covering the whole of the oPt including the Gaza Strip, thereby contributing to maintaining the unity of the Palestinian territory despite the political split




Results from previous phases:  

ICHR consolidated its position as the main national institution in defence of human rights of citizens, building a reputation of credibility and independence despite the increasingly “repressive” (police State). ICHR core functions were enhanced especially in the fields of monitoring, reporting and effective interventions (including legal interventions), as illustrated by the important judicial precedent obtained by ICHR’s successful litigation at the Palestinian High Court (which led to the cancellation of the security clearance policy by the Palestinian Authority and to the return of 720 dismissed public civil servants to their work).

ICHR maintained its independence and operations all over the oPt, as well as its international standing, as illustrated by its membership with (A) status at the ICC of National HR Institutions


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • Sub-National State SouthEast

Coordination with other projects and actors

HR/IHL Secretariat CSOs partners & donors, Diakonia, OHCHR, AIDA, PA ministries relevant to ICHR programs and humanitarian actors relevant to ICHR work as need arise

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'405'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'729'745
Project phases Phase 6 01.04.2017 - 31.12.2019   (Completed)

Phase 5 01.01.2014 - 31.03.2017   (Completed)

Phase 4 01.07.2011 - 31.12.2013   (Completed)