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Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is a human rights organisation set up in Gaza City in 1995 to monitor and document the practices of Israeli military forces in the Gaza Strip, and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The PCHR members document human rights violations, provide legal aid and counselling, and conduct research about the human rights situation and the rule of law. Thanks to the work of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and other human right organisations the International Criminal Court ruled in 2021 that it has jurisdiction over the Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel.

The PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award on Human Rights, the 2002 Bruno Kreisky Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Area of Human Rights and the 2003 International Service Human Rights Award (UNAIS). The PCHR has a Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nation.

Human rights defenders in the OPT are subjected to acts of harassment, restrictions on freedom of movement, stigmatisation, abductions, long periods of arbitrary detention usually under administrative detention orders, illegal searches of their homes and offices and killings. Many of the violations are state-sanctioned, or if not sanctioned at the highest levels of the Israeli political and military establishment, then condoned by the ongoing policy of impunity which permeates the military and judicial system in relation to the OPT. In some instances Israeli settlers have also been the perpetrators of violence against human rights defenders.


The situation of human rights defenders in the OPT is particularly complex as they are carrying out their work in the context of the Israeli military occupation and the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) which began in 2000. People considered to be human rights defenders in the OPT include journalists, lawyers, medical workers, fieldworkers, international volunteers who act as independent observers and carry out human rights work and defenders working for economic, social and cultural rights.