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​​Human Rights Unit

A special unit for human rights was established in accordance with decision 19/2006 of the Attorney General issued on 5/4/2006. This unit is concerned with the practical reality of the criminal justice sector and to what extent are human rights standards applied in terms of the accused right to defense, litigation, speedy trial, and the right to appeal against the legitimacy of the arrest. This decision has seen great approval from all centers and institutions concerned with human rights in Palestine and they considered it as the establishment of a relation between them and the prosecution to monitor and coordinate between the complaints they receive from citizens and the Public Prosecution's role in following up on them, particularly in issues regarding detainees without trial and misuse of power. Following are the key responsibilities of the human rights unit:

1.    Receive and investigate complaints on human rights.

2.    Monitor the application of the rules of international conventions and treaties on human rights in the work of the public prosecution.

3.    Coordinate with bodies concerned in human rights to develop the performance of the Public Prosecution in this regard and respond to the queries of such bodies.

4.    Follow up on the complaints filed by detainees regarding not giving them the rights provided for in the law.

5.    Prepare the necessary studies, researches and proposals in order to promote the technical capacity of prosecutors and supporting services in this regard.

The human rights unit started its activity by holding a meeting at the Office of the Attorney General on 16/5/2006, which included representatives from the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Gaza Center for Rights and Law, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme in the presence of the Attorney General and the Head of the Technical Office. Issues relating to the role of the unit, coordinating with it and its mechanisms of work were raised in the meeting. The unit continued implementing its tasks by visiting the central prison and juvenile detention center to view the problems facing detainees, their treatment and providing them with the needed health care, food and sleeping quarters. The recommendations of the unit in this regard were submitted to the Attorney General. ​​

Gender Unit:

The Public Prosecution is working on implementing its plan on "integrating gender" in its work which has been developmed in 2012. This work plan aims at strengthening the role of the Public Prosecution in prot​​ecting the rights of Palestinian men and women and particularly in protecting the right of women victims of violence in order to realize a fair, just and affective public prosecution services, that takes into account gender in its approach to cases and in the delivery of the services it provides to the public. This plan is based on the inheritance of prosecutors and officials in the institution, which is taken from noted individual effort with regard to gender sensitivity, providing protection to women victims of violence and holding perpetrators accountable.

In order to achieve these goals, the plan addresses several components:

​·   Promoting the role of the Public Prosecution in protecting women victims of violence and holding perpetrators accountable;

·   Institutionalizing gender and enforcing and integrating it in the Public prosecution's work, including planning, training and employment and in the services provided by the Public Prosecution to women, as well as in preparing the infrastructure of prosecution offices and in the work of the judicial inspection unit;

·   Enhancing the role of the Public Prosecutions as an active agent in protecting women and promoting women's rights in the justice sector.

This plan and its components are based on the Public Prosecution's strategic plan and the components in it, thus responding to its key strategic goals by integrating gender in all the relevant components of the Public Prosecution's strategic plan.

​The plan's general framework

This plan presents a set of interventions and activities to achieve its objectives. In general, the plan seeks to achieve greater gender sensitivity in the Public Prosecution, ensure equal opportunities, and enhance the equal provision of services for both male and female citizens and in the  institution itself as well including the Office of the Attorney General. The Public Prosecution will focus on how to improve its performance in providing gender sensitive services, this includes all women of all age groups, taking into consideration the differences among these groups including; social or legal status, religion, class, educational level, health status, geographical area or other factors that may hinder women's access to justice. It should be noted that "women" in the plan include female minors under the age of eighteen, adults, and elderly whether educated or uneducated, in addition to those with special needs, rural women, locals, employed and unemployed women.

 

Definition of gender for the purpose of the work plan.

The Public Prosecution based its definition of Gender on a set of national documents, which views the concept as a socio-cultural one concerned with the specific social roles identified by the society to males and females. According to this concept, the social, cultural, economic, geographical and political factors of our Palestinian society determine the characteristics, roles and rights of men and women[1]. Therefore, the roles undertaken by men or women change over time and vastly differ from one culture to another, even within the same culture. Accordingly, the way men and women are perceived by our society is related to the values, modes of control and perceptions of the community to the nature of men and women and not to the biological differences between them. This inter-relation between men and women of different categories is called "Gender relationship"[2]. The Public Prosecution believes that gender awareness is the ability to recognize problems associated with the difference between the socially specified roles for men and women and their related responsibilities. This requires the ability to recognize that women have different perspectives, interests and needs due to their statuses and roles, therefore policies, procedures, programs and projects may have different impact on women and men. The principle of awareness and recognition includes developing possible scenarios in the quest of eliminating these differences, gaps, problems and obstacles[3]. The Public Prosecution believes that the process of institutionalizing gender at the Public Prosecution requires interventions that include development of policies, plans and programs; development of structures, mechanisms and procedures; provision of resources, and taking all measures to ensure equal opportunities and provision of equal services for men and women.


[1] Cross-Sectoral National Gender Strategy: Promoting Gender Equality and Equity 2011-2013

[2] Glossary of Gender Concepts, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy 2006

[3] Glossary of Gender Concepts, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy 2006