Program Contribution to the Independent Commission for Human Rights
The ICHR is the Palestinian national Human Rights Institute and ombudsman, dedicated to supporting Palestinian citizens’ rights. It monitors independently the performance of the government and its compliance with its legal and human rights obligations. Using mediation and dialogue, it advises the authorities to improve respect of human rights and to support victims of violations. Support to the ICHR with institutional development as well as with program funding contributes to the democratic state building agenda of Switzerland.
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Legal and judicial development
Sexual & gender-based violence
- Sub-National State SouthEast
The occupied Palestinian territory remains affected by systematic and frequent violations of human rights by the main duty bearers: the Israeli occupying power, the Palestinian Authority and the de facto authority in Gaza.
The absence of elections since 2006 has increased the lack of democratic legitimacy of the national institutions whilst the divide between the Palestinian Authorities of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has deepened, increasing mutual distrust. In this context, human rights violations including arbitrary detention, torture, lack of enforcement of judicial decisions and restrictions of freedom of opinion are widespread. Women’s rights raise major concerns, with increased gender-based violence and restricted access to justice. Violations of economic, social and cultural rights are increasing affecting mostly marginalized communities.
The role of the ICHR, as the core national institution for Palestinian democratic State-building is crucial to preserve the rule of law. It is respected by all Palestinian and duty-bearers as a non-partisan, autonomous, neutral and professional national human rights institution.
|Objectives||The overall goal of the ICHR’s work is to protect and promote human rights in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law, national legislation, Palestinian declaration of Independence and international human rights standards to create a democratic and tolerant society applying a Human Rights Based Approach.|
|Target groups||Palestinian authorities, Legislative Council members, civil institutions (courts), Civil society actors, security agencies, Palestinian victims of human rights violations in the oPt and the whole population of the oPt.|
1. To promote measures of prevention, protection, accountability and redress;
2. To promote a national legislative, policy and institutional framework upholding human rights, in conjunction with sustainable development goals (SDGs);
3. To promote and disseminate the culture of human rights;
4. To improve regional and international cooperation;
5. To promote ICHR institutional development and sustainability in compliance with the Paris Principles and re-accreditation of ICHR with status A.
- Contribution to the establishment and capacity building of the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) against torture to enhance internal accountability within Palestinian security agencies;
- Development of the ICHR’s institutional expertise to support the PA’s institutions regarding Palestine’s overgrowing treaty obligations reporting, writing its own shadow reports, leading national consultations, and following up on the implementation of human rights treaties and conventions;
- The ICHR’s core functions in the fields of monitoring, reporting, sensitisation and capacity building of security agencies with emphasis on promoting citizen’s access to justice are enhanced;
- Effective interventions are carried out to protect freedom of speech, right to assembly and political freedoms, in particular by extending the use of complaint mechanisms by the citizens;
- Further regional and international cooperation is promoted, mainly with regards to the use of international mechanisms and United Nations system to promote human rights;
- Consistency of Palestinian laws, regulations and policies with international human rights standards through networks, lobbying and advocacy campaigns is promoted;
- The ICHR’s governance is consolidated, capacity building is provided and skills of the staff are improved, a management information system with a solid review to its organigram is successfully built.
Results from previous phases:
- 250,000 Palestinians reached through awareness raising activities in both WB and GS (males and females) in addition to 900 communities;
- Shadow report submitted to the CEDAW committee, which adopted 70% of ICHR comments for its official report; $
- Advocacy for the formulation of the National Committee (NC) to harmonize and incorporate the International human rights treaties into the Palestinian legal system in 2017, as the Palestinian Authority (PA) acceded to new international conventions, treaties and protocols (i.e. 3 Optional Protocols on torture, death penalty and complaints of People with disabilities). As a member of the NC, the ICHR contributed to finalize the General provisions of the Palestinian Penal Code, Electronic Crimes Law and draft resolution on the law of protecting family from violence;
- Duty bearers and law enforcement officials trained on their roles and responsibilities toward rights holders including within Ministry of Social Development, of Health, of Education, of Local Government, of Interior, of Finance, of Agriculture, General personnel council, Governorates offices, Commission of detainees and ex-detainees’ affairs and the Palestinian Council of Ministers;
- At least 60% of laws by decrees issued pursuant to a consultative process with ICHR and/or civil society organizations with 70% of the content of the adopted laws consistent with Human Rights Standards (e.g. law by decree on police, law-by decree on drugs and Medical Safety);
- 5 subjects’ curricula for the grades from 1 to 9 assessed for gender sensitivity and 90 workshops conducted on the subject, reaching over 2100 participants;
- 2500 visits to temporary detention places (police centers, security forces detention centers, and juvenile detention centers and women safe houses/shelters) conducted in both WB and GS and 10’000 detainees were met.
- Effective consultation and discussion around the establishment of National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) against torture resulting in August 2019 in the decision of the Council of Ministers to establish an independent NPM.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Foreign state institution
The Independent Commission for Human Rights
|Coordination with other projects and actors||Human Rights Civil Society Organisations, donors, the OHCHR, OCHA, relevant Palestinian ministries such as MoI, MoJ, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and humanitarian actors|
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 3’200’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1’001’079|
|Project phases||Phase 7 01.03.2020 - 31.12.2022 (Current phase) 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)|