On Wednesday, 20 February 2019, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded a training course in human rights and democracy. The 20-hour course was held in the training hall of the National Society for Democracy and Law (NSDL) from 17 to 20 February 2019, and attended by 22 members and volunteers representing a number of civil society organizations in Rafah. This training course comes as part of PCHR’s long-term efforts to disseminate the culture of human rights and democracy among those working in civil society organizations and enhance their legal and human rights skills.
The course focused on a number of topics relevant to democracy and human rights to meet the needs of the targeted group, including the human rights-centered approach, 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 (CEDAW); Convention on the Rights of the Child; mechanisms to document and monitor human rights violations; principle of rule of law and Independence of Judiciary; and basic concepts in international humanitarian law.
A 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; 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; Mohammed Abu Hashem, a legal researcher at PCHR; and Yasser ‘Abdel Ghafour, a Fieldworker at PCHR.
At the end of the course, PCHR organized a closing ceremony, where Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Director of PCHR’s Training Unit, stressed that the course was distinctive in terms of the targeted group and its diverse specializations, allowing PCHR to outreach relatively new audiences. He added that this course came to develop the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of the participants, contributing to creating a real change in society’s attitude that would lead to respect and protection of human rights. He emphasized “the relationship between PCHR and the participants does not end at the end of the course but it shall be enhanced afterwards in the interest of human rights issues in society. He stressed that PCHR’s doors will always be open to participants in order to benefit from PCHR’s experience relevant to what they have learnt and the services PCHR provide. He also urged all participants to share what they have learnt in the course to their peers for the dissemination of interest and knowledge.
Mohammed Sabbah, Deputy Chairman of NSDL, thanked and appreciated PCHR for its pioneering role in disseminating and promoting the culture of human rights. He clarified that “PCHR has accumulated experience and deep knowledge of the long years of working in this field, including dissemination of human rights and democracy concepts and among all segments of society.” He also praised PCHR’s role in promoting human rights and democracy via training workers of civil society organizations and promote their role in documenting and monitoring human rights violations. He highlighted the continued relationship between the NSDL and PCHR and the importance to enhance it in addition to continuing to hold similar training courses, which would help them to develop their theoretical knowledge and impart scientific and practical skills in human rights.
Haneen al-Modallal, a course participant, 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.