Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Gaza (Palestine)
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is a non-governmental organization based in Gaza, Palestine. It was established in 1995 by a group of Palestinian lawyers and human rights activists. Raji Rourani was one of the founding members. He was one of the most important personalities at the fourth international partnership convention in Geneva, and is also among the best experts on Israeli-Palestinian human rights.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is a public company that protects human rights, supports the rule of law, and upholds democratic principles in the occupied Palestinian zones. It has a special status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations, and is also a member organization of the International Lawyers’ Commission in Geneva, the International Federation for Human Rights in Paris (FIDH), the European- Mediterranean Network for Human Rights in Copenhagen, the International Legal Assistance Consortium in Stockholm (ILAC), and the Arabic Organization for Human Rights in Cairo.
The primary work of the center consists of documenting and investigating human rights violations, financing process costs for aid, and providing legal consultation for individuals as well as groups. They also publish articles about the human rights situation in Palestine, and the rule of law. The Centre looks over Palestinian drafts of bills, and tries to hold the government to international human rights standards, and basic democratic principles.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights was awarded a human rights award by France in 1996.
The PCHR received the Bruno Kreisky Prize in 2002 for exceptional achievements in the human rights field. Raji Sourani and the human rights center in Gaza consistently defended human rights, despite being opposed by the Israeli occupying forces, and the Palestinians.
In 2003 the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights was awarded the International Services Human Rights Award (Unais), as well as the human rights prize of Andalusia.