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Background

Mapping the Palestinian Complaints-Handling System

authors

Abdelhadi Al-Barghouthi, Nora-Elise Beck, Fatima Itawi, Ali Karakra, Regula Kaufmann, Arnold Luethold, Nicolas Masson, Jane Rice, Kamel Rimawi, Majed Saleh, Felix Tusa, Zoltan Venczel

Cover

Abstract

Complaints-handling mechanisms help citizens report mistreatment and abuses of power. They also allow government institutions to receive feedback on their work and actions. They thus act as a rare point of contact and feedback between citizens and their government or security forces. By receiving, addressing and investigating individual complaints, this system helps to prevent human rights abuses, eliminate malpractice and contribute to overall good governance.

Since 2009, DCAF has assisted Palestinian authorities in the West Bank to improve the existing system for handling citizens’ complaints. It has recently worked with security sector actors to examine the current structure and functions of the various complaints units.

This report presents a comprehensive legal and institutional mapping of the Palestinian complaints system. It intends to serve two main purposes:

  1. to provide Palestinian citizens with relevant information on the existing complaint-handling institutions, their legal basis, and mandate; and
  2. to provide Palestinian stakeholders involved in reforming the complaint-handling system with a comprehensive overview of the system, its opportunities, overlaps and potential deficiencies.

DCAF hopes that this publication can serve as a basis for further reform and improvement in the Palestinian complaints system, and greater accountability of the security forces.