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

Nablus – 9/11/2022 – In cooperation and partnership with UNFPA, MIFTAH recently held a consultation meeting on the amended National Referral System for battered women. The meeting was attended by representatives from the governorate, Prosecutor’s Office, the police’s Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, the Ministry of Social Development, the Safe House Association, Family Defense Association, Association of Working Women for Development, the Union of Social Specialists, Al Umahat School, Women’ Studies Center, Center for Women and Family Affairs and “Irada” movement.

Points of discussion

The participants discussed the draft of the amended national referral system, shedding light on the legal and procedural gaps, according to international treaties and local regulations. The meeting also included a brief on the referral system, which was ratified on 10/12/2013, the system’s objectives and the amended referral system law, which addressed the legal and procedural gaps in the former system and problems in implementation.

The presentations called for the prosecution’s intervention when the risk level is first or second degree. They also spoke about including cases excluded in the former system, such as special needs persons and those with mental illnesses. The speakers pointed to the need to take the victim’s right to determine their fate into consideration in a way that does not threaten their lives or presence in safe houses.

The session ended with a number of recommendations, including: updating the bylaws in a way that coincides with the new draft; holding accountable partners and government parties responsible for implementing the referral system; ensuring adherence to criteria for achieving the best interests of the beneficiary as the benchmark for providing this service; changing the term ‘perpetrator of violence’ which is considered mitigating vis-à-vis the behavior, to the term ‘assailant”; changing the term “achieving the path of survival” to “determining the path of survival”; and working towards providing new protection centers, especially for juveniles, with a 24-hour service provider staff.

The participants also recommended the following: service-providers should be able to continue working within the referral system and provided the necessary skills and knowledge to develop and improve their services; service providers are given legal protection and their safety guaranteed; an agreement between institutions to put mechanisms for referral and documentation into effect; improve efficiency and levels of coordination in response to the recommendations and circumstances of each case; promote standards of prevention and protection.

The participants noted the need to determine referral mechanisms included in the system, which align with the needs of each sector, in addition to adapting the system with international treaties and conventions signed by the State of Palestine, especially regarding definitions and terms, as part of the state’s obligations.

The session is part of MIFTAH’s efforts to influence public policies towards achieve social justice, including the protection of marginalized sectors, through ratifying the amended national referral system for battered women.

MIFTAH organizes several consultation meetings in West Bank districts to press for the ratification of the national referral system and to also produce other amendments that could help close the gaps in the system within the context of providing services to battered women.

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