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Building the Capacity of Palestinian Civil Society Organisations in International Humanitarian Law
02، Nov 2009

Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) find their rights violated by the Israeli occupying forces on a daily basis. In response, Al-Haq and its partner organisation Diakonia have undertaken a joint initiative to disseminate information among Palestinian civil society organisations about the rights and duties enshrined in international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the customary law reflected in the Hague Regulations of 1907. In a situation of prolonged occupation, awareness and understanding of the principles of this body of law is crucial to improving compliance with it. Building the capacity of Palestinian civil society organisations with regard to international humanitarian law is a key element of the long-term success of this strategy. Al-Haq, with more than 25 years of experience as a human rights organisation in the OPT, has a special responsibility in this regard.

The project focuses on the rights of civilians in order to highlight the role of international humanitarian law in daily life, addressing topics such as collective punishment, the Annexation Wall, monitoring violations and enforcing the law. The main means of dissemination is a series of training workshops held across the West Bank for the following target groups: lawyers, human rights activists, youth, women and journalists. The experience gathered from these workshops will contribute to the completion of a user-friendly training manual in international humanitarian law as relevant to the OPT. Further dissemination takes place through television, radio, newspapers, public lectures and a specially designed information folder about the rights of civilians under occupation. Finally, the present section of Al-Haq’s website offers the following tools:

  • The training manual (Arabic only)
  • Annexes to the training manual (Arabic only)
  • Hand-outs provided at training workshops (Arabic only)
  • Rights Sheets – “What are my Rights under International Humanitarian Law?”
  1. Civilians
  2. Women
  3. Children
  4. Detainee
  • Al-Haq articles published in Palestinian media (Arabic only)
  • Links to important international humanitarian law websites:
  1. International Committee of the Red Cross
  2. International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative
  3. Crimes of War Project
  4. International Institute of Humanitarian Law