Sunday, 23 June. 2024
Your Key to Palestine
The Palestinian Initiatives for The Promotoion of Global Dialogue and Democracy

Ramallah – 19/12/2022 – MIFTAH recently held a youth camp for law students at Palestinian universities, civil society and government representatives, the Palestinian Bar Association and the Family and Juvenile Protection Department within the Police. The camp was aimed at promoting youth involvement in public affairs and providing them with information and contacts on social issues, with a focus on social protection and legislation on domestic violence. During the sessions, participants held discussions on the constitutional rights of Palestinian women and systems of social protection.

The conference constituted a space for information and dialogue on the Family Protection Law and the National Referral System. The opening session included several speeches, starting with MIFTAH Executive Director, Dr. Tahreer Araj, who spoke about the importance of the role of Palestinian youth as human rights defenders and citizens’ rights agents for all sectors of Palestinian society.

Dr. Daoud Al Deek, advisor to the Prime Minister on strategic affairs, confirmed that the Family Protection Law is at the top of the government’s priorities and agenda to discuss its ratification. Meanwhile, Khadijeh Hussein, Director of the Policy and National Legislation Department at the Independent Commission for Human Rights, presented on the philosophy behind the Family Protection Law and the Referral System. She said both are means of protecting women and vulnerable and marginalized groups from the risk of violence. She continued that discussion over the Family Protection Law began around 2005 and has been in ‘difficult labor” ever since. Hussein pressed for a serious stance on adoption of the law, pointing out that in the past three years, 100 Palestinian women have been killed.

Furthermore, Bar Association representative, Rawiya Abu Zuheiri, stressed on the importance of ratifying the Family Protection Law to put an end to domestic violence and to promote civic peace. This was followed by a presentation from Lieutenant Colonel Louay Wahdan from the Family and Juvenile Protection Department, who showcased the challenges and tasks of the unit and the procedures employed in domestic violence cases. He noted that they face several challenges in enforcing the law when it comes to matters of family protection.

The floor was then given to Dr. Azmi Shuaibi, member of MIFTAH’s Board of Directors, who emphasized the importance of protecting the social contract in Palestinian society, which, he reminded the participants, was in the Declaration of Independence. He noted that the problem Palestinian youth and women are up against is the absence of the PLC and the lack of a supportive incubator for their issues and demands.

Dr. Omar Rahhal, from Shams Center pointed to the absence of any political will to ratify laws of a social nature while decisions pertaining to economic issues are made without delay.

The youth camp was conducted over the course of three days, including a presentation by Ashraf Abu Hayya, from Al Haq, who introduced the participants to the philosophy of the Family Protection Law, its objectives and articles and the role of relevant parties to enforce it. Mr. Mahmoud Franji, meanwhile, identified the course of action pertaining to the National Referral System and its services for protecting battered women.

This was followed by training sessions and discussions in which participants talked about the possible mechanisms available to youth groups to plan campaigns investing in digital media. They also discussed ways to advocate for mechanisms and services for the protection of battered women and for raising awareness on the necessary legislation in this regard. They maintained that this legislation is imperative in order for women and girls to access protection and justice.

The camp resulted in the creation of five campaigns and initiatives with targeted messages on family protection, varying according to group and district. Meanwhile, MIFTAH will follow up and support the youth groups in implementing the campaigns throughout next year. MIFTAH will also publish the literature from the youth camp, presented by the various participants.

The youth camp is an interactive platform aimed at promoting youth participation in the public sphere, with a focus on fostering dialogue on social issues pertaining to women and girls.

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