On Sunday, 30 December 2018, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded a training course in human rights and democracy. The 20-hour course was held at PCHR’s office in Gaza for 4 days during the period 18 – 30 December 2018, and attended by 22 students representing the Faculty of Political Science at al-Azhar University in Gaza, as part of PCHR’s long-term efforts to disseminate the culture of human rights and democracy among the university students and enhance their legal and human rights skills. The closing ceremony was attended by Dr. Mokahimar Abu Sa’da, Head of the Political Science Department at al-Azhar University in Gaza and Raji Sourani, PCHR’s General Director.
The course focused on a number of international human rights instruments that fit with the needs of the targeted group, including 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; Ahlam al-Aqra’, 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. Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, emphasized that “these courses come as part of PCHR’s work in training and raising awareness of university students. He also expressed his hopes that this cooperation will continue in the service of students in the field of human rights and democracy, stressing the keenness of PCHR to organize such courses 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 and develop their rights to create real change in society.” Sourani stressed 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. Mokahimar Abu Sa’da, Head of the Political Science Department at al-Azhar University in Gaza, 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.
Student, Hussein Ahed Helles, 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.