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Human Rights in Jordan Program


Contents:


Program in brief

Program Activities

Publications



Program in brief

Introduction

The political, social and economic progress of Jordan and the Arab world requires a sound protection and promotion of human rights. UJRC’s Human Rights Program aims at fulfilling the as-yet-unrealised requirements of the human rights movement in Jordan, and spreading the principles of mental and physical freedom, democracy and human rights, both in Jordan and in the Arab world. Through public outreach programs, workshops and training sessions, UJRC informs the Jordanian public on the local human rights climate and initiates reform activities for human rights promotion.

The program has opened up dialogue with the Jordanian government and other international entities to explore the fundamentals of human rights research. Training courses have been conducted for representatives of Jordan’s human rights organizations, NGOs, lawyers, and United Nations representatives. It has also held informational sessions with the public addressing specific issues of social concern, such as the needs of the elderly, the right to health, and family violence. The program also produces a number of publications presenting its activities and research.

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Objectives

  1. Advocating and stressing the principles of freedom, democracy and human rights, and seeking ways of promoting human rights strategies, locally and regionally.

  2. Investigating drawbacks and obstacles facing public freedom and human rights, and proposing practical solutions to enhancing these public rights.

  3. Providing a platform for dialogue on human rights issues, to exchange expertise and accomplishments of human rights activists, and to discuss encountered obstacles.

  4. Participating in preparing special national plans to promote the status of human rights through programs teaching human rights, by preparing courses to improve the skills of human rights groups, to evaluate and observe human rights conditions, and to prepare reports.

  5. Supporting civil society organizations and stressing their role in society.

  6. Contributing to the dialogue on national laws and international treaties concerned with public freedom and human rights.

  7. Preparing researches, studies and reports and publishing them to execute awareness programs and fulfill the needs of human rights.

  8. Constructing a database and a specialized library.

  9. Cooperating with similar national, regional and international organizations and centers, and participating in building networks and a regional human rights monitor.




Advisory Committee
The first advisory committee was formed in 2002, and comprised the following members:

  1. Dr. Ibrahim Badran, vice-president for international affairs, Philadelphia University

  2. Judge Dr. Mohammad Al Tarawneh

  3. Judge Ms. Enas Al Khaldi

  4. Dr. Khaled Al Takhayneh, International Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  5. Ms. Nancy Bakeer, Director of Human Rights Office, Prime Ministry

  6. Ms. Nuha Ma’aytah, member of the Lower House of Parliament

  7. Ms. Hayfaa’ Al Basheer, President of the Jordanian Association for Sociological Care

  8. Mr. Jamal Al Rifai’, Attorney

  9. Ms. Buthaina Jerdaneh, Women Third Millennium Association

  10. Dr. Nizam Barakat, Department of Political Science, Yarmouk University.

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Program Activities

The program activities have been divided into two main streams, conducting workshops and symposiums, and organizing training courses, as follows:

First: Workshops and Symposiums

  1. The Regional Symposium on Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights in South and East of the Mediterranean:
    This Symposium was held in Amman on October 17 – 21, 2003, and was organized by the International Federation for Human Rights, in cooperation with Al Urdun Al Jadid Research Center, the Jordan Society for Human Rights, the International Institution for Women Solidarity and the Law Group for Human Rights (Mizan).

  2. The National Symposium on Human Rights in Jordan:
    UJRC organized this Symposium under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Mr. Ali Abu Al Ragheb, and in cooperation with Al Hussein Cultural Center in Greater Amman Municipality, on December 22 – 23, 2002.

  3. Towards Efficient and Participatory Procedures in Drafting up Laws:
    This workshop was conducted on June 26, 2002. The main paper was presented by Dr. Mohammad Masalhah, Secretary General of the Jordanian Parliament.

  4. The Human Rights to a clean Environment:
    This workshop was organized on June 5, 2002. The main paper was presented by Dr. Ramzi Batayneh, an expert in environmental polices.

  5. New Items in the Personal Status Law:
    This workshop was organized on May 28, 2002. The main paper was presented by the lawyer Akef Ma’aytah.

  6. Human Rights Economies:
    This workshop was held on April 29, 2002. The main paper was presented by Dr. Ibrahim Badran, Dean of College of Engineering at Philadelphia University.

  7. The World Bank, Human Rights and Development:
    This workshop was organized on April 15, 2002. The main paper was presented by Dr. Khaled Takhaineh, Director of Human Rights in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  8. The Provisional Election Law No. 34 of the Year 2001 from the Perspective of Human Rights Principles:
    This workshop was conducted on March 24, 2002. The main paper was presented by Mr. Hani Hourani, Director General of UJRC, and was commented upon by Ms. Nancy Bakeer, the Human Rights Director in the Prime Ministry, and the attorney Jamal Rifa’i.

  9. The Medical Responsibility and Assurance Against Medical Faults:
    This workshop was held on September 18, 2001. The two main papers presented were by Dr. Mo’min Al Hadeedi, Head of the National Center for Forensic Medicine, and Dr. Mohammad Basheer Shraim, Director of Shraim Research Center.

  10. The Temporary Public Meetings Law: Implementation Scenarios and views on its unconstitutionality:
    This symposium was held on September 11, 2001. The main working paper was presented by the attorney Sameeh Khreis.

  11. The Right to Have Health in National Laws and International Conventions:
    This workshop was organized on September 4, 2001. The main working paper was presented by Dr. Zaid Hamza, the former Minister of Health.

  12. Aged People Requirements in Jordan:
    This workshop was conducted on August 14, 2001. The main paper was presented by Dr. Mohammad Khaled Ma’ani, Social Service Program, University of Jordan.

  13. The Role of Family Protection Administration in Preventing Family Violence in Jordan:
    This symposium was held on July 24th, 2001. The main paper of which was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Fadel Al Hmoud, Head of the Family Protection Directorate at the Department of Public Security.

  14. Discussing the US State Department Report on Human Rights in Jordan, 2000:
    The report of the US State Department was presented by Mr. Dog Seligman and Mr. Tobin Bradley from the US Embassy in Amman. The purpose of this symposium, which was held on May 4, 2001, was to identify the principles, methodologies and resources obtained by the US State Department in preparing Human Rights Reports of other countries.

  15. The Role of Literature and Arts in Supporting Human Rights:
    This symposium was held on September 6th, 2000. The main paper was presented by Dr. Abdel Rahman Yaghi, and was discussed by a group of plastic artists, dramatists, actors, writers, and researchers specialized in human rights.

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Second: Training Courses

The Human Rights program organized three training courses in the field of human rights, and as follows:

First Course: Supporting and Protecting Economic and Social Rights:

This training course was held with the cooperation of the British Fund for Supporting Human Rights and the International Union for Refuge (Habitat), at Marmara Hotel in Amman on October 13 – 15, 2001. A total of 35 female and male trainees participated in the course, in addition to a number of specialists in human rights from Palestine and Sudan. The training was supervised by Mr. Joseph Shakala, the regional coordinator of the International Coalition for Refuge in Cairo.

Second Course: Evaluating the meetings of the Economic and Social Committee of the United Nations::
This training course was held on July 24, 2000, under the supervision of Mr. Joseph Shakala, the Regional Representative of the Economic and Social Committee subsided to the Economic Council in the UN.

Third Course: Methodology of Preparing Human Rights Reports in accordance with the United Nations System:
This course was conducted on March 23, 2000, and supervised by Mr. Joseph Shakala.


Publicationss

A- Reports

  1. Human Rights Report in Jordan 2001 – 2005:

    The Human Rights Program in the center is currently working on the final touches of this report, which is based mainly on the Human Rights Report for the year 2001. It includes three main sections: the status of economic, social and cultural rights, the status of civil and political rights, and finally, a brief on the human rights status in Jordan for the years 2002-2005.

  2. Memorandum on the State of Human Rights in Jordan:

    This memorandum was published in accordance with the Partnership Agreement signed with the EU, by virtue of (article 2) of the agreement, June 2002.

  3. Human Rights Report in Jordan 2000:

    This was the first UJRC annual report on the status of economic, social, and cultural rights in Jordan.

  4. The parallel report of the non-governmental organizations on economic, social and cultural rights in Jordan, 24/4/2000. Also, a supplementary report was later issued on economic, social and cultural rights, 14/8/2000..

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B- Newsletters

The program published a series of Human Rights Dialogue newsletters concerned with human rights in Jordan. The aims are to introduce a subject for discussion and then convey its results and recommendations to the largest possible number of people and decision makers. The series also contain translations and researches that fall under the aims and interests of the human rights program. The published newsletters covered the following areas:

First issue: The role of the Department of Family Protection against family violence. It documents the debate session organized by the human rights program on July 24, 2001, in which LC Fadel Al Hmoud discussed the experience of the Department of Public Security in averting the problem of family violence.

Second issue : Needs of the elderly in Jordan. This issue documents the workshop organized by the Program on August 14, 2001, where Dr. Mohammad Al Ma'any presented a research briefing on the needs of the elderly, with the participation of a group of experts, specialists and human rights activists.

Third issue: The right to health services in national laws and international treaties. The issue covered the workshop held by the Program on September 4, 2001, where Dr. Zaid Hamza presented the right to health services within the legal and political context. Dr. Hamza had surveyed the historical development of the right to obtaining health services on the international level, and exerted to enact it in international agreements and declarations. He also examined the right to health services within the Jordanian laws, and shed a light on the Jordanian health sector provision of health services and care.

Fourth issue: temporary law on Public Meetings. The issue covered different scenarios for the implementation of this law, and viewed dismissing it as unconstitutional. This was based on a dialogue session that was organized by the Program on September 11, 2001. Attorney Mr. Sameeh Khreis had commented on the articles of the temporary law no. 45 of 2001, and presented a historical glimpse of the right to hold meetings and how this is related to democratic development of governance. He analyzed this right by contrasting it to clauses cited in the Jordanian constitution, and the democratic openness Jordan had witnessed. Also discussed were the drawbacks of the articles within the rationale temporary law, and the procedures for dismissing it as unconstitutional at the High Court of Justice.

 

For inquiries contact: humanrights@ujrc-jordan.org


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