The Center’s awareness and capacity building also includes an Annual Conference on the PNA Budget to pave the way and create a process for a more transparent and accessible budgetary process, based on an assessment of the needs of the population in each sector, and for which the PNA is fully accountable vis-à-vis the local community of the OPT . This pilot project in 2003 has become a core project of the Center.
Legal Aid and Representation: This activity lead by the Center’s Legal Aid Unit included the representation of prisoners by Israeli and Palestinian authorities, victims of land confiscation, home demolition, prevention from travel, workers cases and other cases and complaints in relation to violations of economic and social rights. Over 230 cases were undertaken by the Center in 2003.
Legal Review: Another essential ask carried out by the Legal Aid unit is legal review of draft or enacted laws in the OPT. This constitutes an essential component of advocacy for human rights standards and rule of law and the Center coordinates with different actors of the civil society to lobby the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) of Governmental entities in view of enhancing laws to meet international standards.
Research and Analysis: The main goals are monitoring, researching and producing analytical reports on the situation relating to ESC rights in the Gaza Strip and of the PNA’s annual budget to make recommendations to the appropriate decision-making bodies on the local level; Raising the awareness of UN bodies and international human rights organizations on the violations of economic, social and cultural rights in Gaza through international advocacy and to maintain ongoing communications with both; Raising the awareness of the local community on economic, social and cultural rights and of the PNA’s budgetary policies as a tool of ensuring better enjoyment of these rights.
Reporting and Publications: This includes joint statements; monitoring reports; special incident reports; press releases; legal publications within the “Legal Guide Series” which is a series of simplified studies of national laws aiming at providing ordinary people with simple, palatable and direct information on the rights included in these laws; and publications on the diverse trainings and events carried out by the Center.
Resource Library: Al Mezan has developed a human rights library in the refugee camp of Jabalia that will be used as an information center for Al Mezan staff, researchers, students, and the public. It is expected to largely contribute to the human rights and development culture in this marginalized area once it is open for the public.