ICHR calls for resuming payment of salaries to public sector staff and allocations to the families of martyrs, injured citizens and prisoner

12 February 2019

                                                                                                                                                            2/2019

 

ICHR calls for resuming payment of salaries to public sector staff and allocations to the families of martyrs, injured citizens and prisoners of the Gaza Strip

 

The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) follows with deep concern the Palestinian government measures regarding the suspension of salary payments to public sector staff and financial allocations to some families of martyrs, injured citizens and Israeli-held prisoners of the Gaza Strip. The ICHR is of the view that these measures violate the rights of public servants and undermine legally guaranteed social protection for many community groups.

 

According to the ICHR documentation, the Palestinian government has not paid salaries owed to over 5,000 public servants as well as financial allocations to the families of martyrs, injured citizens and prisoners in the Gaza Strip for the month of January 2019. The government has not stated any relevant reasons and justifications. It has not complied with the legal imperatives required by the Civil Service Law and other relevant regulations, which delineate the mechanisms and procedures for suspending payment of salaries and allocations to affected groups.

In line with the ICHR monitoring, suspensions included groups who had not been affected by earlier measures, which targeted Gaza-based public servants in 2017. Ever since, the government has deducted 30-50 percent of the employees’ salaries.

 

The ICHR confirms that suspended payment of salaries and allocations to the groups violates relevant legal standards as well as guaranteed rights and freedoms. It involves a form of discrimination because it targets some, rather than all, public sector employees. This practice adversely impacts human rights, which public servants and legally protected groups (martyrs, injured citizens and prisoners) are entitled to.

The ICHR has found out that suspension targeted persons on the basis of their political affiliation. This practice is in violation of the provisions of Article 26 of the Basic Law, which ensures citizens’ right to political participation.

 

Against this background, the ICHR calls on the Palestinian government to resume the payment of severed salaries and financial allocations. This should be in compliance with the rule of law and in consistence with the government obligations under national and international legal standards of public service and social protection for the groups guaranteed by law.

 

 

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