International Advocacy 2003

UN CERD 63rd Session. UN HRC 78th Session. UN CECSR 30th Session.

CERD 63rd Session | HRC 78th Session | CESCR 30th Session

UN Committee on the End of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 63rd Session - August 2003

In August 2003, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its affiliate and partner organizations in Israel, ACRI - The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, HaMoked, and the Mosawa Center - the Advocacy Center for Arab Palestinian Citizens of Israel, requested that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) consider the new law, "Nationality and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) - 2003," adopted on 31 July 2003, for an urgent procedure. The human rights organizations asked the UN CERD Committee to declare the new law in grave violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and to urge Israel to revoke it as well as to reconsider the current family unification policy.

In its 14 August 2003 decision, the UN CERD Committee called upon Israel "to revoke this law, and reconsider its policy with a view to facilitating family unification on a non-discriminatory basis."

 Request for Urgent Procedure on New Israeli Law Banning Family Unification - 5 August 2003

 UN CERD Decision - 14 August 2003

 FIDH Communique - 14 August 2003

UN Human Rights Committee (UN HRC) 78th Session - July 2003

Adalah General Director Attorney Hassan Jabareen and Adalah Staff Attorney Gadeer Nicola presented Adalah's reports and participated in the Committee's sessions in Geneva, Switzerland on 24-25 July 2003. At these sessions, the Committee reviewed Israel's 2nd Periodic Report (CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2) and reply to the List of Issues on the state's implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Numerous other Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights organizations also presented reports and participated in the Committee's July 2003 sessions including the Association of Forty, the Public Committee Against Torture, Al-Haq, LAW, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). The Israeli delegation was headed by the Ambassador to the UN, Mr. Yaacov Levy, and included seven attorneys from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Mr. Shai Nitzan of the Attorney General's Office.

On 6 August 2003, the Committee issued its Concluding Observations, raising 13 key points regarding Israel's violations of ICCPR rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. For example, the Committee emphasized the need for the State of Israel to:

  • Revoke the new law banning family unification for Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens.
  • Investigate, prosecute and punish public pronouncements made by Israeli pubic figures in relation to Arab citizens of the state, that may constitute "incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence."
  • Review the government's sweeping state of emergency powers.
  • Ensure that the length of detention without access to counsel does not exceed 48 hours.
  • Ensure that alleged instances of ill-treatment and torture are vigorously investigated by independent mechanisms, and that those responsible for such actions are prosecuted.
  • Adopt targeted measures to improve Arab women's representation in the public sector and accelerate progress toward equality.
  • Stop the practices of "targeted killings," the use of Palestinian civilians as "˜human shields' or "˜volunteers' during military operations, and property and home demolitions in the Occupied Territories.
  • Cease construction of the "˜fence" or "wall" in the Occupied Territories.

Adalah's July 2003 submission highlighted:

  • Israel's increasing use of state of emergency laws against Arab leaders and political activists.
  • The Israeli army's use of Palestinian civilians as human shields.
  • Family unification and citizenship.
  • The state's failure to implement laws ensuring the fair representation of Arab citizens of Israel in governmental bodies.

These reports supplemented Adalah's October 2002 submission to the Committee. Adalah also provided the Committee with reports previously submitted to the UN CESCR in May 2003.

Adalah Press Release: UN Human Rights Committee to Israel: Revoke New Ban on Family Unification Law and Investigate, Prosecute, and Punish Incitement against Arab Citizens of the State - 10 Aug 2003

UN HRC Concluding Observations

Adalah's Submission:
State of Emergency |  Human Shields |  Family Unification & Citizenship |  Fair Representation.

UN HRC Israel Review - 1998

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UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCECSR) 30th Session - May 2003

Marking our fourth intervention, Adalah Staff Attorneys Suhad Bishara and Morad El-Sana presented Adalah's Report and participated in the UNCESCR sessions in Geneva, Switzerland on 15-16 May 2003. At these sessions, the Committee reviewed Israel's 2nd Periodic Report (E/1990/6/Add.32) and reply to the List of Issueson the state's implementation of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Twenty-four Israeli, Palestinian and international NGOs presented reports and testimonies to the Committee regarding violations of rights protected under the ICESCR in Israel and the 1967 Occupied Territories. The delegation representing the State of Israel consisted of 11 representatives of government ministries. Israel's Initial Report (E/1990/5/Add.39(1)) was considered by the UNCESCR in 11/98, with concluding observations (E/C.12/1/Add.27) issued in 12/98. Additional information was submitted by Israel (E/1989/5/Add.14) and considered by the UNCESCR at an extraordinary session held in 2001.

On 23 May 2003, the Committee issued its Concluding Observations. Among the points noted by the Committee, 10 key issues related to Israel's failure to uphold its obligations under the ICESCR vis-a-vis Arab citizens of Israel. Many of the issues raised in Adalah's Report were adopted by the Committee in its Concluding Observations.

Adalah's Report consists of three information sheets highlighting Israel's failure to uphold its obligations under the Covenant vis-a-vis Arab citizens of Israel in the fields of Social and Economic Rights, Education Rights, and Land and Housing Rights. Adalah also contributed a case study titled, "The Right to Water in Israel: No Water for the Unrecognized Arab Villages," to Thirsting for Justice, a report on Israeli violations of the right to water in the Occupied Territories, submitted by the Center for Economic and Social Rights to the UNCESCR.

Adalah News Update: UN Committee Deeply Concerned about Persisting Inequalities between Jewish and Arab Citizens of Israel - 28 May 2003

UN CESCR Concluding Observations - 23 May 2003

UNCESCR, List of Issues for Israel (E/C.12/Q/ISR/2) - 5 June 2002

Adalah's report to the UN CESCR:
Social and Economic Rights | Education Rights | Land and Housing Rights

UNCESCR Israel Review -1998

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