OACDH en el Estado de Palestina (2008-2009)

Human rights context

The internal power struggle between the rival Fatah and Hamas movements has added a new dimension to the suffering of the Palestinian people. In addition to the threats to human rights resulting from the Israeli forces’ military control of the territory, Palestinians are now exposed to new abuses resulting from the power struggle between the two rival factions. These worrying trends are surfacing in an environment dominated by violence and impunity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, an emergency Palestinian Authority Government (PA) enjoys international recognition and pledges of support,while in the Gaza Strip the international community and the United Nations do not recognize the legitimacy of Hamas’ June 2007 military takeover. During that month, the emergency government instructed Gaza-based institutions for administration of justice and law enforcement not to resume functioning.

Law and order functions are carried out by the Hamas-affiliated Executive Forces, or Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, outside the framework of the law and in the absence of judicial oversight.

In this situation, domestic human rights mechanisms may be pressured to curtail their reporting, thereby increasing the need for OHCHR to monitor and report directly on the human rights situation. Given the nature of the current political situation, OHCHR must address human rights issues with three sets of duty-bearers, namely the PA, Hamas and the Government of Israel.  


Activities to strengthen partnerships with civil society and build their capacities have included intensive training sessions for participants from all parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank,where freedom of movement is severely curtailed. Training was designed to increase Palestinian civil society actors’ use of special procedures and to enhance their understanding of treaty bodies and use of concluding observations. New elements included workshops on human rights with NGOs working on poverty and unemployment issues,women’s rights and gender mainstreaming, the rights of persons with disabilities, and mainstreaming their participation into ongoing training activities. For the first time, training-of-trainers’ sessions were successfully undertaken in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,with support from the Women’s Rights and Gender Unit.

OHCHR helped strengthen the UN Country Team’s capacity to use a rights-based approach to programming and held regular meetings of the UN Human Rights Working Group (UNHRWG). In 2006, significant efforts were made to create a Protection Sector, led by OHCHR, and aimed at placing human rights in the foreground of work by UN agencies and contributors to the inter-agency Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP). The Office also hosted inter-active briefings for experts visiting the region with the UNHRWG.


OHCHR aims to strengthen its work on accountability through authoritative, law-based public reports on priority themes, accompanied by direct interventions with duty-bearers, advocacy and media work. The Office will work with the UN Country Team to integrate human rights law into joint statements and work with NGOs to develop complementary strategies for accountability.

The Office will continue to provide support to police academies and the judiciary, focusing on transparent and effective mechanisms for accountability. The Office will also organize training for the Palestinian Legislative Council’s specialized committees and staff on integrating human rights standards into draft legislation. OHCHR will continue to work with the Minister of Education and Higher Education to support the Ministry’s implementation of the World Programme for Human Rights Education.

A more strategic approach to communications will be employed by working with the media,maximizing the potential interest in OHCHR’s work on both accountability and empowerment, and developing a webpage to provide information updates on treaty bodies and special procedures. Wherever possible, reports will be made available in Arabic and Hebrew.

OHCHR will continue to work with the UN Country Team, particularly the Human Rights Working Group, to encourage joint activities on human rights themes and actions. Familiarization sessions on international human rights mechanisms and standards and on the human rights-based approach will continue, and human rights will be further integrated through joint planning activities, such as the CAP, for which OHCHR takes the lead in the protection sector.

Building on past experience, the Office will create partnerships with the national human rights institution and civil society actors to strengthen interaction with international accountability mechanisms. It will also assist groups that are marginalized or are discriminated against, particularly women, persons with disabilities and Palestinians living in remote and/or impoverished areas, in gaining access to appropriate international human rights mechanisms and realizing their rights.

The Office will also assist in direct interaction with special procedures and relevant treaty bodies and will advise on implementation of Human Rights Council resolutions relating to the region.


Sede principal:

División de Creación de Capacidad y de Operaciones sobre el Terreno

Unidad para el Medio Oriente y África del Norte
Correo electrónico: registry@ohchr.org
Dirección postal: Avenue Giuseppe Motta 48, CH-1202 Ginebra 10


Oficina en el terreno:

Oficina de Ramallah
Tel: +972 2 296 55 34

Oficina de Gaza
Tel: +972 8 282 7021

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