DCI-Middle East and North Africa
DCI has well established its presence in the Arab World and, under the leadership of DCI-Palestine, has been supporting the establishment of a regional network for the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region. This geographic area is of particular concern for children’s rights as it clearly requires the provision of adequate protection for the protracted conflict between Israel and Palestine where both children and human rights defenders continue to pay a high price for ongoing civil unrest.
The regional program aims at enhancing child justice and the protection mechanisms for children in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region based on the UNCRC and international law. DCIP acts as a regional desk for the MENA regional program. As such, it works with eight DCI national sections; Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt. Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, and Mauritania with the aim of empowering them to actively engage in child rights’ protections and on supporting joint advocacy efforts addressing the Arab League, the UN, and other international and regional bodies. DCI MENA collaborates closely with the League of the Arab States (LAS) and acts as a regional expert in all advocacy efforts to promote and defend the human rights of children in the region.
DCI- Palestine successfully initiated dialogue with the Arab League on children’s rights issues and the importance of adopting the Child-Friendly Justice Manual, a guiding manual with the best practices according to international standards for dealing with child victims of violence, and children at risk or in conflict with the law.
Technical Support to the SLDCs:
DCI-Palestine as a regional desk for the MENA region supports the national sections in establishing Socio-Legal Defence Centers. DCI established SLDCs in Mauritania, and Morocco, Tunisia and Morocco. in addition to the SLDC in Palestine that was established for more than a decade ago. DCI-Palestine, also conducts coaching sessions to support Sections in financial and technical aspects.
Alternative to detention:
DCI-Palestine is organising workshops for the DCI MENA section on alternatives to detention and restorative justice.
Monitoring Child rights violations and generating reports
Through the SLDCs, DCI MENA sections enhanced the role of the sections in monitoring and documenting child rights violations and addressing them accordingly. A report on the situation of children in the Arab world was drafted based on those documented cases as well as secondary review data. In 2020, this report was ready and finalized.
Supporting the sections through Corona Pandemic
DCI-Palestine followed up with the sections to discuss the impact of the pandemic on their work and on the implementation of the projects. DCI-Palestine also participated and followed with them on filling the DCI Global Survey on the impact of COVID-19 and the #CovidUnder19 survey that highlight the impact of the COVID 19 on children’s rights.
Coordinating regional meetings on DCI strategic framework
DCI-Palestine organizes workshops with the MENA sections to seek their input and conduct a revision process for the DCI strategic framework. The aim of the workshop is to have more in-depth understanding and collect needed feedback to be able to shape the strategic direction for DCI globally for next few years.