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Date posted: December 04, 2018
By MIFTAH

Ramallah As part of its EU-supported project Youth as Human Rights Defenders, implemented in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, MIFTAH recently capped off five days of capacity-building training on human rights, monitoring and documenting violations and policy dialogue. The training was held in Ramallah for members of the Youth As Human Rights Defenders network in Jerusalem and Hebron.

The participants received training on international humanitarian law and international human rights law, human rights defense strategies, monitoring and documenting violations, legal analysis and policy dialogue sessions. During the training, tools for monitoring and documenting violations, which MIFTAH developed, were introduced to the defenders. The tools focused on monitoring and documenting violations against the right to education and cultural rights associated with Palestinian national identity, including school dropouts, access to schools, house arrest, the conditions and availability of classrooms and curricula. This is in addition to the imposition of constraints and harassment of cultural institutions and events, hindrances to renovating and expanding shops, buildings and curricula and the right to access places of worship within the framework of cultural rights. Hence, the focus was on tools such as questionnaires, testimonies and field reports as basic mechanisms for monitoring and documenting violations, based on interviews.

Training material

Monitoring and documentation expert, Nina Atallah who oversaw this part of the training, said the training materials addressed the foundations and components of documentation and the use of language most internationally acceptable and credible. It was also geared fostering professionalism, credibility and accuracy among the human rights defenders to conduct interventions, advocacy and lobbying campaigns and to improve the human rights situation in Jerusalem and Hebron created by the practices and policies of Israeli occupation authorities. Atallah stressed on the importance of maintaining the credibility of their own organizations so that their information and data would be accredited and utilized outside. This would also mean their respective organizations would become sources of reliable information. It should be mentioned that this theoretical training will be supported by on-the-job coaching sessions under the supervision of experts to enable human rights defenders to internalize and apply the knowledge and skills they acquired.

The Project

This training constitutes the first step in achieving the overall goal from the interventions within the Youth as Human Rights Defenders project, funded by the EU, which is to enhance implementation of human rights instruments in five localities in the occupied State of Palestine within three years, and particularly in east Jerusalem, Old City of Hebron and Access Restricted Area in Gaza Strip. MIFTAH project manager Tamara Tamimi maintained that this training would place youth defenders at the beginning of the road in monitoring and documenting violations against the right to education and cultural rights associated with the Palestinian national identity. Tamimi added, These interventions are in line with the strategic priorities of MIFTAH in disseminating the Palestinian narrative and fostering political dialogue through employing a rights-oriented discourse and highlighting the violations of Palestinian rights in areas subject to violent and systematic attacks by Israeli occupation forces.

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