Al Mezan Center for Human Rights implemented two virtual awareness-raising workshops for 25 staff members, including 18 women, of local agricultural organizations in the Gaza Strip. On 11 November 2020, the first workshop discussed protection of civilians under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) , while the second workshop, held on 16 November, focused on available rehabilitation services for farmers subject to human rights violations.
Ms. Shirin Al-Shobaki, Training and Mass Communication Coordinator at Al Mezan, conducted the first workshop which introduced the participants to an array of IHL-relevant topics, including the legal status of the Gaza Strip as an occupied territory, protection of civilians in armed conflict pursuant to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and protection of farmers in international law. Ms. Al-Shobaki also briefly discussed obstacles to seeking accountability, domestically and internationally.
At the second workshop, Ms. Enas Joudah, a psychologist from the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, discussed the physical and psychological impact on victims of human rights violations, particularly farmers who fall victim to arbitrary detention, forced displacement and land and property damage. In this context, Ms. Joudah elaborated on the different types of trauma and stress facing Palestinian farmers, rehabilitation services, and self-care practices and techniques to handle stress effectively.
This workshop is part of Al Mezan’s activities aiming at promoting IHL and human rights in Gaza under a European Union-funded project.