In spite of the impressive indicators regarding education enrolment and attendance in the occupied Palestinian territoty, access to quality education remains significantly compromised. The educational process has been obstructed and interrupted, and the dignity and safety of students and teaching staff violated in the process. The primary responsibility for this lies with the conflicting parties that continue and prolong a situation of protracted conflict and humanitarian crisis. These violations do not appear as isolated incidents or the unintended consequences of policies and budgetary constraints. Rather, they are the result of systematic targeting and legal discrimination at the levels of the legislature, government, judiciary and the military.
This report does not in itself attempt to document and analyse these violations and systematically document discrimination. Rather, it offers a methodology for how to monitor, analyse and report on the situation. It does so by offering both concepts and tools to allow us to understand, identify and access the relevant legal frameworks and mechanisms that may serve to address violations and bring about change.
The report builds in part on a series of interviews and workshops, conducted in 2011 in both Ramallah and Gaza City under the auspices of UNESCO. These workshops and other informational meetings allowed the Right to Education Initiative to engage in substantial capacity building regarding the human rights approach and to set the scene for the initial stages of a constructive dialogue. The hope is that this report may contribute to renewed action in three main directions: an understanding of the importance of using IHRL to support the Palestinian education system; an inclusion of IHRL into existing advocacy strategies; and an improvement regarding the way education policies and programmes are made.