From 9 to 12 May 2018, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights conducted a training course on monitoring and documentation methods and reporting mechanisms in the areas of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL). Held as a component of the European Union-funded project “Strengthening Monitoring, Protection and Rehabilitation of Civilians Victimized by, or at Risk of, Human Rights and IHL violations in Gaza with Relation to ARA and Torture”, the training was delivered with the aim of building the capacity of professionals working at community-based organizations (CBOs) that operate in the access restricted area (ARA) and that, as part of their current work, strive to document international law violations within the context of the Great Return March protests.
Over the course of the four-day training, the 27 participants built their knowledge of the principles of IHL, IHRL, including the use of force principles, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The participants spent the final day of the workshop learning about the methods of monitoring and documenting violations of international law in order to report on the Great Return March protests. One particular discussion by participants surrounded the protection of children’s rights within armed conflict, and delved into the importance of reporting abuses to the MRM 1612 mechanism under UN Security Resolution 1612.
Mrs. Shirin Al Shobaki, coordinator of Al Mezan’s Training and Mass Communication Unit, stressed the importance of ARA-based CBO professionals protecting human rights by documenting and reporting on international law violations, including the response of the Israeli military to the protests, as the CBOs operate in the geographic area of the demonstrations.
At the end of the training, the participants received their certificates and extended their thanks to Al Mezan for providing them with the toolkit to engage in effective monitoring and documentation of IHL and IHRL violations.