State of Palestine
Human Rights and Democracy Media Center (SHAMS)
Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS” is a Palestinian non-governmental non-profit organization, established in 2003 in Ramallah by a group of academicians, educated, advocates and human rights activists .“SHAMS” Center holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations
“SHAMS” Center believes that dissemination and generalization of human rights should be tackled from a holistic approach that takes into consideration the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and their mutual interdependence on each other.
“SHAMS” aims mainly at providing capacity building to organizations and individuals (especially women and youth) in the fields of human rights and democratic participation.
We try and achieve this through two main approaches. The first is direct engagement with local communities through our vast network of human rights activist on-the-ground in villages throughout the West Bank. In this capacity, we provide workshops, training courses, and other such activities to enable people to take up and demand their own rights. Our other approach is to utilize the media to spread information to a wider audience (through a bi-weekly TV-program and regular radio and TV appearances).
Goals and Objectives:
1. Dissemination of information about human rights, democracy, and good governance issues through the utilization of the media
2. Opposing death penalty
3. Promotion of the concepts of human rights in Palestinian legislation.
4. Strengthening the role of Youth & women within their communities
5. Capacity building and strengthening the relationship and cooperation between local, regional and international institutions.
6. Promoting change within society, especially countering stereotypes and biases towards women, increasing values of tolerance, and awareness of democratic principles and participation.
• Combating death penalty program: This aims at abolishing death penalty from the legislations applied in Palestine, and enacting Palestinian legislations which respect and protect the right to life and combat death penalty. And encouraging the president not to approve death sentences inflicted by Palestinian tribunals to correspond to the increasing international approach to stop executing this penalty. Additionally, providing guarantees of the fair trial and not prosecuting Palestinian civilians before military tribunals. And calling the president for using the constitutional authorities in granting a special pardon, and fulfilling Palestinian commitments to international agreements and conventions that Palestine accessed to.
• Human rights program which contains capacity building “training” besides raising awareness, education, lobbying & advocacy, legal aid and assistance, researches and studies.
• Human rights’ media program which includes (opinion & issues program): TV and radio dialogue episodes, written and TV human rights’ report, radio drama, a (newspaper) supplement, the monthly electronic newsletter and press releases.
• Human rights program for Palestinian security sector and Sharia faculties’ students which contains the forum of enhancing human rights within the Palestinian security sector as well as including the concepts of human rights’ concepts for Sharia faculties’ students in the Palestinian universities.
• Enhancing Women access to justice.