2014 Activities

Several Campaigns Launched to Ensure Accountability for Corruption

Several Campaigns Launched to Ensure Accountability for Corruption

On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day & International Right to Know Day
Several Campaigns Launched to Ensure Accountability for Corruption

 

Transparency Palestine -AMAN- conducts lobbying and advocacy campaigns every year to mark International Anti-Corruption Day (December 9th) and International Right to Know Day (September 28th). Events to mark these two days aim to mobilize public opinion in support of the adoption of policies and legislation to combat corruption.

On International Anti-Corruption Day, and in cooperation with partner civil society organizations, AMAN is launching publicity campaigns under the titles No to Impunity and Citizens Charter for Integrity and to Combat Corruption.

No to Impunity

A just society requires that those who engage in corruption be held accountable, not only to recover the rights and property of the state, but also to act as a deterrent in both the public and private sphere. Individuals who engage in corruption must be held accountable, wherever they are and whatever their professional capacity, to guarantee that corruption will be eliminated and penalties are imposed on those who deserve them. With that in mind, AMAN has launched two publicity campaigns.

Campaign I: to accelerate corruption proceedings

Launched on 26 September 2014 and reaching a climax on 09 /12/ 2014, this campaign is to lobby the Palestinian Supreme Judicial Council to speed up corruption trials. Safeguards for fair trials must be observed, while preventing protracted legal proceedings that open the door to impunity.

Since the launch of the campaign, AMAN has met with the head of the Supreme Judicial Council and submitted a policy document supporting the role of the Council in ending impunity, and calling for the establishment of an appeals court to hear cases of corruption independently. The document also suggested that an appeals body be formed without delay to consider appeals to rulings given by the Corruption Crimes Court. The head of the Council expressed willingness to cooperate with AMAN and to consider the establishment of an appeals body, in addition to other procedures related to the Corruption Court. AMAN and the Supreme Judicial Council will hold further meetings to evaluate the progress of these steps. The head of the council expressed willingness to cooperate with AMAN in enhancing integrity and combating corruption in the work of the council, through awareness/training programs and action guidelines. These activities will be addressed by AMAN in the coming weeks.

AMAN will undertake a series of activities with partner CSOs, including radio shows, billboards, demonstrations, and other activities with partner media institutions as part of the grant program.

Campaign II: sexual harassment by the officials in public sector institutions should be prosecuted and treated as corruption

The second campaign was launched on 15 September 2014 and will last for several months until the goal has been achieved; to include sexual harassment within the law to combat corruption and to punish the perpetrators with legally-defined penalties. Awareness of the role played by women in combating corruption (whether in the home or in the public, private, or academic sectors) will be highlighted to encourage the reporting of suspected cases of corruption, to be followed up with official bodies. The campaign concentrates on women’s success stories in combating and reporting corruption.

This campaign will include many activities ranging from messages, newspaper advertisements, social networking websites, and awareness workshops for the target group, and meetings to lobby decision makers and support women. These activities are intended to convey the mission of AMAN to decision makers to adopt the steps necessary to fulfill the campaign’s objectives.

Campaign III: A citizens’ charter on integrity and combating corruption

This campaign aspires to enhance integrity, transparency and accountability and is based on the concept that participation by the public is essential to build a corruption-hostile environment. Trust and awareness by Palestinians of how to combat corruption are significant factors. Therefore, AMAN’s launch of a citizens’ convention for integrity and to combat corruption will raise public awareness of integrity and transparency, enable people to scrutinize and monitor the accountability of those in charge of public funds, and will open the door wide to volunteering and advocacy (by adopting and signing the convention).


International Right to Know Day

AMAN held several activities to mark International Right to Know Day and promoting public access to information:

1. ‘Clean Hands’ campaign

AMAN believes that it is the duty of officials (whether appointed or elected, ministers or employees) to present regular reports and information on their work and to clarify decisions and explain policies since transparency entails clear communications with the public.
It has come to light that there were erroneous statements, problems and attempts to misuse assistance delivered to Gaza after the last war. Complaints have been filed by people who did not receive assistance, and who were the most in need. As a result, AMAN –in cooperation with a group of Palestinian foundations – has launched the ‘Clean Hands’ campaign, under the slogan: ‘Delivering assistance to those who deserve it is our responsibility’. The campaign was called for by everyone who took part in assistance collection, distribution and delivery as a means to circulate information about the relief campaigns undertaken by different parties.

AMAN carried out many activities as part of this campaign:

 Design a campaign website
AMAN created a website to circulate information on the relief campaigns undertaken by different parties (partners in the campaign). Information covers the volume of assistance, its quality, sources, methods of collection, who delivered them and how. Other questions include who distributes assistance to those eligible, on what basis, the criteria to decide on the final beneficiaries, and methods of action, scrutiny and follow up to prevent fraud and misuse. Twelve active bodies responsible for assistance distribution and delivery to the Gaza Strip provided AMAN with detailed information on the humanitarian assistance donated to Gaza by local, Arab and international organizations.

 AMAN offers a free telephone line for inquiries by the public on anything published on the campaign website, or to raise issues on the misuse of assistance for personal purposes.

The Legal Advocacy and Guidance Center received 170 calls via the free line from 9-25 September 2014. These calls comprised 101 calls on grievances by the public because they had not been given assistance despite their need, or had been given derisory assistance not commensurate with the extent of the damage; 40 calls about the campaign and advice on the procedures and bodies to be contacted to register names and damage; and 29 calls on the suspected misuse of public office for private gain. Female callers made up 25.3% of all those using the ALAC toll free line .

 Design of advertising campaigns

AMAN launched an advertising campaign for the campaign on various media and social networking websites:


http://www.aman-palestine.org/Gaza

2. A special seminar on the right to access security-related information:

AMAN –in cooperation with al-Estiqlal University, Jericho- will hold a four-hour seminar to discuss the right to circulate information on security institutions, attended by many CSOs, law and media students, representatives from security institutions, researchers, and academics.