Programme Contribution to the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

ICHR, is dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights in Palestinian controlled territories. It focuses on strengthening the legislative, institutional and legal environment and on monitoring, investigating and handling complaints on human rights put forward by Palestinian citizens. It further aims at promoting accountability measures and consolidating human rights culture. Switzerland’s support to ICHR contributes to the democratic state building agenda, to peace building and dialogue towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation, promotion of rule of law and sustainable development, therefore contributing to stability in the region. 

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Territorio palestinese occupato
Diritti umani
Conflitto & fragilitá
Diritti dell'uomo (diritti delle donne inclusi)
Sviluppo legale e giudiziario
Prevenzione dei conflitti
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027
CHF  3’000’000
Contesto The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) remains affected by systematic and frequent violations of human rights by 3 main duty bearers: the Israeli occupying power, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank (WB) and the de facto authority in Gaza Strip (GS).
The absence of Palestinian legislative elections since 2006 and the deepening of the internal divide between the Palestinian Authorities in WB and the GS has increased the judiciary and governance deficits impacting every aspect of people’s lives. In this context, human rights violations including arbitrary detention, torture and inconsistent judiciary reform persist, failing to secure the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. Several laws by decree are issued and amended, amid absence of consultation processes, lack of legal logic and significant gaps that undermine basic rights, including restrictions of freedom of opinion and tightening of control on the Palestinian civil society. Women’s rights raise major concerns, with increased gender-based violence while the Family Protection Law, debated for the past 6 years, remains un-adopted, with no future foresight. Violations of economic, social and cultural rights are increasing, affecting mostly marginalized communities.
The role of the ICHR, as the core national institution for Palestinian democratic State-building is crucial to preserve the rule of law. It is respected by all Palestinian duty-bearers as a non-partisan, autonomous, neutral and professional national human rights institution.
Obiettivi The overall goal of the ICHR’s work is to protect and promote human rights in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law, national legislation, Palestinian declaration of Independence and international human rights standards and conventions. This is aimed at creating a democratic and tolerant society based on citizenship and the rule of law, where values of freedom, political participation, non-discrimination, pluralism, and human dignity are rooted.
Gruppi target

Direct: Palestinian authorities, Legislative Council members, civil institutions (courts), Civil society actors, security agencies, Palestinian victims of human rights violations in the oPt

Indirect: the whole population of the oPt

Effetti a medio termine
  1. Promote measures of prevention, protection, accountability and redress
  2. Promote a national legislative, policy and institutional environment upholding human rights, in conjunction with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  3. Promote and Consolidate the culture of human rights
  4. Promote ICHR’s institutional development and sustainability 

Risultati principali attesi:  

  • Citizens are better enabled and empowered to claim their rights through an accessible quality complaint handling service (ombudsman)
  • Detention centers, shelters and care houses are more consistent with the international standards on the treatment of detained persons
  • Torture and ill-treatment are better addressed through rejuvenating national protection and accountability systems at state institutions and the activation of the Coalition against Torture and the Coalition for Civil Oversight of Security Agencies 
  • Consistency of Palestinian laws, regulations and policies with international human rights standards is promoted with specific focus on right to social protection, the right to health, civil peace and rule of law
  • The use of the international human rights mechanisms is promoted
  • The impact of the Israeli HR violations on the PA ability to fulfil its HR obligations is highlighted 
  • Raise awareness of citizens on their fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as on how to claim and defend them
  • National HR education plan is prepared and implemented
  • Influential people (media representatives, unionists and preachers) are empowered to disseminate and promote the culture of human rights 
  • ICHR institutional digital transformation is institutionalized
  • Mapping of expertise of ICHR’s commissioners for specialized profiles (i.e. Commissioner General for Childhood)
  • In 2025, ICHR to re-gain status A by GANHRI sub-committee periodic review

Risultati fasi precedenti:  

  • Shadow reports submitted to the ICESCR and CAT committees, which adopted many of ICHR’s comments for their official reports.
  • 300,000 Palestinians reached through awareness raising activities in both WB and GS (males and females) in addition to 900 communities.
  • About 10,000 Palestinians reached out to ICHR complaints mechanisms in both WB and GS (both males and females). 
  • Key national investigations were conducted on national issues to preserve rule of law and social cohesion including the independent autopsy of killed activist Nizar Banat, purchase of C19 Pfizer vaccines from Israel and the killing of AnNajah university student.
  • ICHR carried out about 4000 monitoring visits to temporary detention and rehabilitation centers, and attended over 250 case conferences for GBV survivors. 
  • ICHR continued its active participation and engagement in different advocacy channels including the Judicial Reform Committee, National Committee for harmonizing Palestinian legal system with int’l human rights treaties, the Legislative Monitoring Network, the Committee for National Budgetary Transparency and the SDGs National Teams, succeeding to link its complaints to the SDGs indicators. 
  • ICHR was re-accredited status A by GANHRI based on compliance with the Paris Principles (independence and effectiveness). 
  • Succeeded with the help of SDC to improve its financial security with the joining of Finland to the Donors’ Consortium.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
Instituzione statale straniera
  • Sub-National State SouthEast
  • The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

Coordinamento con altri progetti e attori Human Rights Civil Society Organisations, donors, the OHCHR, OCHA, relevant Palestinian line ministries such as MoI, MoJ, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and humanitarian actors 
Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    3’000’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    1’012’178
Fasi del progetto Fase 1 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2027   (Fase in corso)