ICHR receives a delegation of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour

Ramallah - On 27 February 2017, a delegation of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (Confédération française démocratique du travail) (CFDT) visited the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR). The CFDT delegation was chaired by Laurent Berger, CFDT Secretary General. The Secretary General and members of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) accompanied the visiting delegation.

Dr. Ammar Dwaik, ICHR Director General, made a presentation on the ICHR functions and tasks. ICHR receives citizens’ complaints, visits detention centres, raises awareness of citizens’ rights, trains law enforcement officers and aligns national legislation with international conventions.

Addressing the status of human rights in Palestine, Dr. Dwaik highlighted violations of Palestinian citizens’ rights due to measures implemented by the Israeli occupying authorities, including land confiscation, settlement expansion motivated by Israeli laws, extrajudicial killings and home demolitions. Dr. Dwaik stated that the Israeli judicial system and courts provided protection to Israeli soldiers, who killed Palestinian citizens. For example, in a sham trial, the Israeli soldier who killed Abdul Fattah al-Sharif, a Palestinian citizen from the Hebron city of the West Bank, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Dr. Dwaik made an overview of the situation of Palestinian workers inside the Green Line and in Israeli settlements. Palestinian workers are exploited and their labour and human rights are grossly violated. Dr. Dwaik highlighted the significant cooperation with the PGFTU on all levels, including in relation to the Law on Trade Unions. The ICHR seeks to ensure that trade unions continue to be independent, strong and immune from any interventions, which may jeopardise their status and independence. Dr. Dwaik also called on the CFDT to promote the boycott of Israeli settlement products.  

Mr. Berger stated that the CFDT delegation would visit several Palestinian institutions to view the status of Palestinian workers, and Palestinian citizens in general, and witness the suffering caused by Israeli restrictions. Mr. Berger indicated that trade union cooperation between Palestine and France would seek to strengthen mutual relations and achieve social justice and political justice for the Palestinian people by recognising Palestinian rights and statehood. Mr. Berger highlighted that a document lately signed by 160 French parliamentarians demanded that President François Hollande recognise the State of Palestine.

Mr. Shaher Sa’d, PGFTU Secretary General, emphasised the importance of the CFDT visit in the context of cooperation between Palestinian and international trade unions to serve Palestinian workers and cause of the Palestinian people. With a particular reference to the CFDT, international trade unions have a significant impact on the public opinion and decision makers in respective countries.


27 February 2017