Over thirty years’ experience of defending human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has provided Al-Haq with an outstanding range of expertise in the practical application of international law. In July 2009, this rich history inspired the organization to establish the Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law, with the aim transferring its accumulated experiences to new and existing human rights defenders.
The Center, which is based in Ramallah-Palestine, is the first Palestinian civil society body to specialize in the practical application of International Law. The Center aims to combine theory and practice to enhance the capabilities of human rights defenders by providing them with the essential applied knowledge for defending human rights issues at the national, regional and international levels.
The Center’s Vision:
A Palestinian society free of human rights violations; liberated from occupation, governed by the rule of law; and whose citizens enjoy their essential rights and freedoms as granted to them under international law.
The Center’s Mission:
To ensure the application of principles of international humanitarian and human rights law in the OPT by using research, education and training to enable activists, students and human rights defenders to influence decision making at the national and international levels.
- Develop the capacity of activists, students and professionals specializing in international humanitarian and human rights law to defend human rights on the national, regional and international levels.
- Diffuse the benefits of research and training relating to international humanitarian law and human rights to activists, students and professionals from the OPT and abroad.
- Transfer Al-Haq’s practical experience in the areas of international humanitarian and human rights law to activists and students from Arab countries through a program of regional seminars.
- Professionals and volunteers from civil society institutions.
- Regional and international human rights activists and researchers.
- The Center organizes annual regional seminars that cover issues of international law and human rights encountered in the OPT and other Arab countries. The seminars target lawyers and human rights activists with previous experience of international law with the aim of developing a regional discourse and empowering participants to defend human rights throughout the region.
- The seminars provide participants with the opportunity to exchange knowledge, practical experience and alternative perspectives in orderto enhance the cognitive analysis of the focus issue.
Local Capacity Building Program:
- Training courses are held throughout the year in international humanitarian law and human rights for students and activists.
- The Program concentrates on combining both the theory and practical application of international humanitarian law and human rights.
- The Center establishes professional relations with individuals and groups who have completed the training in order to support and motivate them to continue their professional development and to use their knowledge and skills to defendhuman rights issues in the OPT.
- One year fellowships are offered to international scholars, providing an opportunity to conduct focused research on issues of international law in the OPT.
- Fellows produce a research paper on a topic of their expertise in coordination with the Center.
- Fellows will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the situation on the ground in the OPT and present their research in the form of seminars to Palestinian law schools, human rights professionals and others.
International Experts Visits:
- Visits of international experts to the Palestinian law school are hosted by the Center for periods of up to three weeks.
- The visiting expert shares their experiences and expertise through presentations, workshops and seminars with students and activists in the fields of international humanitarian law and human rights.
- Conducting training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences on international humanitarian law and human rights.
- Implementing research on international humanitarian law and human rights by hosting regional and international researchers to conduct field research and analysis of the outcomes with groups of Palestinian law students.
- Developing capacity of local staff to prepare, present and evaluate the training and practical activities in the fields of international humanitarian law and human rights.
- Building sustainable professional relationships with local, regional and international institutions and universities associated with international humanitarian law and human rights law in order to exchange experiences and develop mutual capacity.
- Printing and distributing research reports in both Arabic and English as well as publishing them on the Center’s website.