In solidarity with Palestinian civil society
ESCR-Net - International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights connects over 280 NGOs, social movements and advocates across more than 75 countries to build a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all. We are proud to count among our members Al-Haq and we wish to express our unwavering solidarity with our members and the wider Palestinian human rights movement.
Al-Haq is a Palestinian human rights organization established in 1979. It is internationally acclaimed for carrying out critical work to hold to account all perpetrators of human rights violations against the Palestinian people. Al Haq has played a key role in condemning Israel’s apartheid regime and illegal settler-colonial legislations, policies and practices that continue to deny the Palestinian people’s excersice of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination. Likewise, Al-Haq has a strong trajectory of international advocacy with intergovernmental bodies such as the United Nations and the European Union including on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Similarly, Al-Haq serves on the Steering Committee of ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group and is central to collective advocacy for a UN treaty regarding the human rights obligations of corporations. Al Haq also serves on the Advisory Committee for our Network-wide Environment and ESCR Project, guiding work on human rights and climate justice. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, Al-Haq has played a key role in shaping our collective advocacy calling on corporations and States to act to ensure universal and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine and calling on the International Monetary Fund to lead in cancelling unjust debts. In addition to Al Haq’s leadership in ESCR-Net, Al-Haq has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Further, Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, has been elected as a Vice President and Secretary General of the renowned International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). Similarly, Al-Haq was awarded the Human Rights and Business Award in 2019.
Given their consistent and globally recognized defense of human rights and international law, ESCR-Net is appalled by the recent designation of Al-Haq and fellow Palestinian human rights organizations Adameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union for Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees as “terrorist organizations” by the Israeli minister of defense on 19 October 2021. We join the global condemnation of this blatant attack on the Palestinian human rights movement and the wider civil society through false baseless accusations, which stand as clear attempts to silence Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society criticism and evade accountability by Israel. These attacks on the Palestinian civil society must be condemned by the international community and the protection of staff and the ability of human rights organizations to continue their work must be guaranteed.