Organisation & Staff
The Administrative Board runs the day-to-day
operations of the Centre and reports to the Board of Trustees. All of the
members of the Administrative Board are full-time staff members.
Head of Units
PCHR is composed of
specialised work units that carry out their activities
in an autonomous but integrated manner:
Fieldwork is the basic activity of the Centre.
Well-trained fieldworkers located in different areas of the Gaza Strip obtain
accurate and documented information on human rights violations in the Gaza Strip
from victims and witnesses of human rights violations. The information is
received by the coordinator of the unit and other researchers to verify its
accuracy. Through the fieldworkers' presence, the Centre has been able to
maintain close contacts with the community. In this way, the community is able
to influence the work of the Centre and the Centre is better able to meet the
community's interests and demands.
The Legal Unit is composed of a team of
lawyers who give free legal aid and counsel to individuals and groups,
especially Palestinian prisoners in Israeli or PNA custody. The unit also
carries out legal intervention with concerned bodies and makes legal
representations before courts in cases that involve broad principles of human
rights that affect not just the individual before the court but the community as
a whole. Furthermore, the Legal Unit attempts to support the independence of the
judiciary and the rule of law.
Democratic Development Unit
The Democratic Development Unit specialises in the
promotion of democracy and the promotion of civil society and the rule of law.
The unit's team carries out research and organises workshops and seminars to
discuss issues relating to human rights and democracy. The unit's team also
prepares comments on draft laws prepared by the Palestinian Authority in an
effort to influence the decision-making process and the adoption of democratic
laws. The unit has been also involved in providing training on human rights and
democracy for youth groups
Economic and Social Rights
This unit seeks to ensure the importance of economic
and social rights through research and study. Such work is particularly
important because it tends to be neglected, to some extent, by other human
rights organisations. To achieve its goals the unit conducts studies, workshops,
and seminars that focus attention on economic and social rights in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip. The unit seeks to develop recommendations and standards for each
of these rights to be fulfilled in the Palestinian situation. Moreover, the unit
reviews and assesses the legislation and draft laws pertaining to these rights
adopted by the Palestinian Authority in an effort to secure legislation that is
in harmony with international standards. The unit further seeks to provide an
informative training base for governmental and non-governmental personnel who
are empowered to set plans and implement programs and policies relevant to these
rights. The goal of such training is to help bring economic and social rights
into alignment with the standards accepted internationally and to ensure the
maximum degree of implementation.
This Unit was established as a pilot project in May of
1997 for one year, renewable upon assessment of its accomplishments. The initial
project was established after a thorough and comprehensive study of the
conditions of Palestinian women and the work of women's institutions in the Gaza
Strip. The unit aims to provide legal aid for women and women's organisations
and it also acts on behalf of women in Sharia' and civil courts. The Unit
further aims to raise awareness of women's rights enshrined in international
human rights conventions and to educate Palestinian women about their rights
under local law. Finally, the Women's Unit carries out studies on Palestinian
women and the law, while supporting the amendment of local laws inconsistent
with women's rights. The Women's Unit is also increasingly focused on the rights
of children as well, and the effects of human rights violations on children.
PCHR has been engaged in work to educate the general
public about democracy and human rights issues and providing specialised
training in these areas. PCHR believes that if individuals at a grassroots
level, as well as civil society at large, understand their democratic and human
rights and are empowered to demand that their rights be met, then greater
pressure will be put on government officials to guarantee that these rights are
The Training Unit is the core of PCHR's work to
increase awareness and improve knowledge of human rights, democracy and the rule
of law in Palestinian civil society, with the ultimate goal of reducing
violations of human rights, and to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in
Palestinian society. The Unit's work involves holding training courses, hosting
expert meetings, and coordinating awareness raising campaigns. The Training Unit
therefore works very closely with all the other Units at PCHR.
Administration & Central Services Unit
The minimisation of
administration and maximisation of programme work is the
objective of the Central Services & Administration Unit.
Although it functions as one unit, its work is
interwoven with that of all other units in the Centre.
This system of organisation provides a method for
maintaining information in a way that is easily
accessible to all staff members. The Director heads the
Central Unit and is responsible for insuring the
efficient use of all staff members, particularly those
within the unit itself. The Director is supported by the
Program Committee and the Administrative Board. Together
the Director and these committees decide upon the
direction of the Centre, in both financial and strategic
PCHR has a busy International Unit consisting of
experts on international law, fundraising, advocacy and the PCHR interns.
The Unit supports other Units of the Centre in carrying out their work as well
as producing English language reports, position papers and press releases.
Staff in the Unit are often involved in conducting field-visits as part of their
advocacy programme or field-research as part of the research programme and are
involved in building relationships between Palestinian, Israeli and
international NGOs who work on human rights issues. The International Unit
also produces interventions to international bodies - including the UN human