MIFTAH
Saturday, 3 December. 2022
 
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy
 
 
 

Ramallah – MIFTAH recently held a consultation meeting in Tulkarm as part of its interventions to combat gender-based violence and to promote the protection of citizens’ rights for women through impacting public policies, laws and legislation to be more responsive to the various social sectors. The meeting was attended by representatives of Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, the Ministry of Social Development, the Tulkarm Prosecutor’s Office, the governor, the police department’s gender unit and civil society institutions.

The attendees discussed the draft of the amended referral system and shed light on its legal and procedural gaps in order to document and review them within the context of policy debates with decision-makers. This is with the aim of achieving protection and care for women in the health, social, judicial, service and police sectors and to cement a protective legal environment for citizens’ rights, public freedoms and values of equality.

The meeting included a discussion of concepts and terms and their adaptability in accordance with international treaties, local regulations, the system’s objectives and services provided to beneficiaries in the health, police, prosecution and judicial sectors. It also aimed to promote accountability for relevant parties and service providers and to hold accountable perpetrators of violence, according to the system’s penal codes.

The participants concluded with a number of recommendations on articles and clauses in the system, including: the need to adapt the referral system with international treaties and conventions signed by the State of Palestine, especially regarding definitions and terms; further developing the system’s objectives; and merging Article 5 and Article 4 pertaining to the moral values of service providers.

They also stressed on the importance of ending the confliction with battered women shelter centers regarding the categories covered by its protection. They said the system must include specific mechanisms for each sector of battered women and not adopt one mechanism that does not take the difference between the sectors into consideration. They called for taking the necessary measures to identify the level of severity of each case, which is the joint responsibility of the police and the women’s protection counselor at the Ministry of Social Development.

The participants emphasized the need for safe houses that adhere to international standards, which could provide these services and thereby safeguard the dignity and safety of battered women.

The meeting was held in cooperation and partnership with UNFPA, to follow up on CSO efforts towards pressuring decision-makers into ratifying the amended referral system and agreeing to coordinate institutions’ interventions on the necessary amendments. Another objective was to follow up on the latest developments pertaining to the ratification of the amended referral system and the executive procedures for bolstering protection for battered women. This is in addition to monitoring the performance of parties responsible for the system’s application to ensure that a protective legal environment for citizens’ rights, public freedoms and the values of equality is provided.

MIFTAH holds several consultation meetings in West Bank districts to press for the ratification of the national referral system, on the one hand, and for passing amendments on it to close the gaps in the system to better provide services for battered women.

 
 
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