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Strengthening Citizens’ Complaints Mechanisms

Effective complaints mechanisms in the security sector are central to the accountability of security forces and good governance of the sector. Security forces that can properly respond to complaints received from their citizens will be more effective, more transparent, and more respectful of human rights. DCAF supports the strengthening of mechanisms that allow citizens to submit complaints about misconduct or violations of citizens’ rights by public institutions and security agencies

Key activities

  • DCAF assisted the Council of Ministers in mapping the Palestinian complaints system.
  • DCAF helped the Directorate General for Complaints at the Council of Ministers and legal advisers in governors’ offices in reviewing the regulatory framework. They created a committee of experts, including civil society representatives, to review Regulation No. 6 (2009) on Complaints.
  • Together with Wattan TV, DCAF launched a television series called ‘Ashkilamen’ (‘To whom shall I complain?’). The programme aimed to raise public awareness of complaints mechanisms and demonstrate how to make complaints.
  • DCAF assisted the PA complaints handling units in developing and launching an online platform which informs citizens how and where they can file complaints against the security providers.
  • DCAF, the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister of Palestine have organised two annual conferences on the subject of complaints, gathering regional and international experts as well as top representatives from relevant Palestinian institutions.DCAF assisted the Council of Ministers in producing their first ever Annual Report on Complaints in 2013. The Council of Ministers ratified all its recommendations.

Partners

  • Council of Ministers, in particular its Directorate General for Complaints
  • PA ministries and governorates
  • Wattan TV

KEY RESULTS

  • The 2013 Annual Report prompted many institutions to make improvements in their complaint handling mechanisms
  • As a result of the programme Ashkilamen, citizens began approaching Wattan TV to have their cases exposed in the media and solved by the authorities

NEXT STEPS

  • DCAF will assist the Council of Ministers and the General Directorate for Complaints in creating a standardised template for complaints reports. The template will be adopted by all security sector institutions that receive complaints.
  • DCAF and the Council of Ministers will develop a code of conduct for staff working in complaints units in the security sector.