ICHR developed an organizational structure in 2015 to comply with the requirements of ICHR’s new strategic plan (2014-2018), especially with the new developments and the accession of Palestine to over 40 international treaties and Conventions including the 7core human rights treaties and conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The structure was approved by the General Assemply of the Board of Commissioners in April 2015, and has entered into effect later at the end of the year.
ICHR’s adopted a functional structure where the organization, under the supervision of the Director-General is divided, into 4 centralized departments: Investigation and Complaints Department, Monitoring of National Legislations and Policies Department, and Public Awareness and Training Department. In addition to 3 centralized units: Public Relations and Media Unit, International Relations and Program Development, and Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. ICHR ensures its accessibility to all Palestinian citizens by its regional offices that are placed in all main regions.
The Director-General is responsible for the management of ICHR’s daily activities, its staff and resources and for planning and implementation of its operations based on the policies and decisions of the Board of Commissioner. The Director-General is supported by an Executive Team, composed of the Deputy Executive Director for the Gaza Strip, Directors of the Centralized Departments and Units’ Officers. The Director-General reports to the Commissioner General and the Board of Commissioners.
Investigation and Complaints Department
A central department responsible for handling complaints from citizens whose human rights have been violated, documenting, following up, and reporting the complaints, monitoring prisons and detention centers. It contains two central coordinators with responsibility for the investigation and complaints handling work; one for the WB region and the other for the Gaza Strip region.
Monitoring National Policies and Legislation Department
A central department for monitoring of legislation and policies on a national level is based in Ramallah at the Headquarters premises, with one staff member placed in Gaza. The department, led by a Director, is also called “the research department” or “the policies department”. The department monitors media and Human Rights websites daily and feeds this information to all staff and commissioners, as well as houses a reference library for the West Bank. A team of six legal researchers monitors legislation and policies according to a number of “files” related to the civil rights and freedoms, the Palestinian statehood process, Israeli violations and their effects on Palestinian human rights, and some of the social, economic, and cultural rights, such as women’s rights, the right to development, the rights of persons with disabilities. The department proposes amendments to specific provisions of existing legislation to ensure compliance with international human rights principles and conventions. Reporting violations and the situation of human rights in Palestine is done in an annual report, while special reports are issued highlighting issues that undermine Palestinian rights and freedoms. To a more limited extent, the department also drafts legislation in compliance with international human rights standards. It also plays an advisory and advocacy role towards authorities by organizing round table sessions with high-level officials, participating in government committees, and issuing political memos and advisory opinions.
Awareness Raising and Training Department
A centralized department responsible for promoting the culture of HR in the Palestinian society through two main tracks including capacity building and awareness-raising activities. ICHR’s strategic efforts in capacity-building empowerment through training the duty bearers to understand their role and obligations on human rights. Furthermore, the strategic direction on awareness-raising provides knowledge and tools for the rights holders to exercise their rights and become familiar with how to claiming their human rights. It contains two central coordinators with responsibility for the training and capacity-building activities; one for WB region and the other in Gaza Strip.
Administration and Finance Department
A central department for Administration, Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, and IT is based in the head office in Ramallah and led by the Administrative and Finance Director. This department provides logistical support to all other units, departments, and regional offices of ICHR. Among its major functions are the following: Administration and General Services Support, Human Resource Management, Accounting, and IT services.
Media and Public Relations Unit
a small unit containing an Officer in the West Bank, and a Coordinator in Gaza. The unit is responsible for building a network of public relations and media to disseminate and circulate the work of ICHR. It follows up on all matters and issues related to media coverage, at the level of ICHR’s official website and social media platforms. In addition, it produces and disseminates media and promotional materials to cover the activities ICHR regarding various human rights issues.
International Relations and Programme Development Unit
A small unit composed of one officer responsible for maintaining ICHR’s relation with its consortium of donors and external relations with the International and Regional NHRI Networks, other NHRIs, International Organizations, and UN Organs. Furthermore, the unit leads the development processes of ICHR’s regular strategic and action plans.
Monitoring & Evaluation and Management Information System Unit
A small unit composed of one officer responsible for M&E ICHR progress towards the achievement of its strategic goals in addition to the maintenance and development of its central documentation and management information system, combining all monitoring information into one common system.
ICHR uses a decentralized structure for local service provision and outreach in order to be as close as possible to citizens. The regional offices are led by Regional Managers who report to the centralized departments’ directors. There are three regional offices in the West Bank (Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron covering the northern, middle and southern parts of the West Bank, with smaller sub-offices/posts in Tulkarm in the north and Bethlehem in the south) and two in Gaza (Gaza City covering Gaza City and the northern part and Khan Younis covering the central and southern parts of the Gaza strip). The regional offices are ICHR’s eyes on the ground and the principal interface with citizens. They receive and document complaints of human rights violations, regularly monitor prisons, detention centers, juvenile reformatories and shelter homes for women, organize public awareness activities in local communities to spread knowledge of citizen’s rights and how to complain, as well as conduct training to change behaviors r of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary through their training and capacity building. The regional offices also reach out the most remote areas, meet with local authorities, address citizens’ needs and services and conduct campaigns, national inquiries and public awareness activities in cooperation with community-based and civil society organizations and other duty-bearers within those marginalized communities to improve the level of services and infrastructures, raise awareness, and handle citizens’ complaints.