On Tuesday, 26 September 2017 at 10 am, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights gathered the final focus group of 24 university graduates in its branch in the Jabalia refugee camp. The Research and Technical Assistance Unit at Al Mezan had organized five meetings in the five governorates of the Gaza Strip, and staff met with 10 focus groups that included both genders, who majored in different academic subjects. A total of 120 graduates – 80 male and 60 female - participated in these meetings. This final group of students came from various parts of the North Gaza governorate and included graduates from different academic programs. The purpose of these focus groups was to research the impact of unemployment on the situation of human rights by sampling university graduates in the Gaza Strip.
“Unemployment is such a critical phenomenon, especially among university graduates in the Gaza Strip,” said Al Mezan’s researcher Hussein Hammad after introducing Al Mezan’s activities in protecting and promoting human rights that put a special emphasis on the important role of Palestinian youth in such activities. The goal of focus group meetings was to find out about the specific reasons and distinct forms of unemployment among university graduates, its psychological, social and political consequences, and how it affects the human rights situation in Gaza. Unemployment is among the top causes of human rights violations, especially violations of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
During the final focus group meeting, the 24 university graduates were divided in two groups and engaged in discussions based on the main questions of the study, reflected about how unemployment affects their lives, and proposed solutions to alleviate and eradicate unemployment during the brainstorming session. The final results of the study will be published in the coming months.