With the participation of 18 students from English Language Department- Faculty of Arts and Humanities at al-Azhar University in Gaza, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded a training course in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law on Wednesday, 28 November 2018, in light of PCHR’s long-term efforts to promote human rights in the Palestinian society. The 20-hour course was held at PCHR’s Head office in Gaza from 25 to 28 November 2018 and attended by Dr. Jihad Abu Tawila, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities; Dr. Jamal Al-Sharif, Head of the English Department at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Jaber Wishah, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors; and Raji al-Sourani, Director of PCHR.
The course focused on a number of international human rights instruments that fit with the needs of the targeted group, including included an introduction to human rights, the International Bill of Human Rights (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights); the two Additional Protocols; Political Participation; Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; principle of rule of law and Independence of Judiciary; basic concepts in international humanitarian law and Gender-Based Violence.
Team of PCHR’s trainers supervised the training sessions. The team included Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Director of PCHR’s Training Unit; Khalil Shaheen, Director of PCHR’s Economic Social Rights Unit; Mona al-Shawa, Director of PCHR’s Women Unit; Mohammed ‘Atallah, a trainer at PCHR; Sharif Abu Nassar, lawyer at PCHR’s Legal Unit; Majedah Shehadah, a Researcher at PCHR’s Women’s Unit; and Mohammed Abu Hashem, a legal researcher at PCHR.
At the end of the course, PCHR organized a closing ceremony. Jaber Wishah, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, emphasized PCHR’s long-term efforts to promote the culture of human rights among university students and raise awareness about their legal rights to create a society and generation fully aware and capable of defending their fundamental rights and freedoms.
Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, emphasized that this training course is the first cooperation with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in al-Azhar University, expressing his hopes that this cooperation will continue in the service of students in the field of human rights. He stressed
that PCHR keens to organize courses in the field of human rights and democracy for students to raise their competencies and develop their capabilities in human rights by providing them with the knowledge of the mechanisms that can be followed to defend their rights. Sourani added that PCHR’s doors will always be open to participants in order to benefit from PCHR’s experience regarding what they have learnt, urging participants to transfer what they learned in the course to their peers for the dissemination of interest.
At the beginning of his speech, Dr. Jihad Abu Tawila, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Al-Azhar University, thanked PCHR for its pioneering role in disseminating and promoting the culture of human rights, clarifying that “PCHR has accumulated experience and deep knowledge over the long years of work in this field. He highlighted the continued relationship between the university and PCHR and the importance to develop it in order to serve university students and to continue holding similar training courses, which help students to develop their theoretical knowledge and impart scientific and practical skills in human rights, to create real change in their attitudes.
Student, Loura al-Hayek, said that, “the course was characterized with its rich topics and contributed to raising participants’ awareness of human rights; trainers’ efficiency and various and interactive training methods used in the course.”
At the end of the course, all participants received certificates.