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25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 2021 Theme: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!

25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 2021 Theme: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!

Some girls commit suicide to avoid forced marriage - 72% of human trafficking victims are women and girls - Gender-based violence jeopardises girls’ education. These are just some of the reasons why we need to act now to end gender-based violence. Today we #OrangeTheWorld in solidarity with victims of violence, and the EU takes stock of progress made and challenges ahead, one year after adopting the Gender Action Plan III, which promotes gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union.  Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. Emotional abuse is also a problem that cannot be ignored During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of the 'shadow pandemic' of domestic violence increased, showing that for many women and girls, home is not a safe place.  Gender-based cyber violence is also spreading fast. A relatively new phenomenon is experienced by all women, though women visible in public life, such as journalists and politicians, experience gender-based cyber violence disproportionately often, which can affect democratic decision-making: they do not dare express political opinions due to fear of online targeting. The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice President, Josep Borrell: ‘Violence against women and girls is a pervasive human rights violation… We condemn and call for the end of violence against women everywhere, including in conflict situations. Progress is possible and we must continue to work together tirelessly to achieve more. The Commission will propose to extend the list of ‘EU crimes' to cover hate speech and hate crime. This will allow the EU to be able to criminalise gender-based hate speech and hate crime. We will also propose new legislation to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. It will propose concrete measures to prevent such violence, including when perpetrated online, to protect and support victims, improve their access to justice, and to ensure better coordination between competent authorities. We are stepping up our action and call to others for continued commitment and collaboration.’ It remains the responsibility of each and every one of us, acting individually and collectively, to #stopviolenceagainstwomen and to make the world a safer place for all women and girls. Today we #OrangeTheWorld. Will you join us?  

Deputy Head of Mission participates in a high-level event to mark Palestinian Women National Day

Deputy Head of Mission participates in a high-level event to mark Palestinian Women National Day

The Deputy Head of Mission of EUPOL COPPS, Katja Dominik, this morning participated in a high level event to mark Palestinian Women National Day as well as the 21st Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security. The primary topic of today’s event addressed the legal and judicial mechanisms to protect women in light of the international law and human rights. The event was also addressed by Mohammad Shalaldeh, Minister of Justice, Amal Hamad, Minister of Women Affairs, Qadri Abu Baker, Commissioner of Detainees and Ex-Detainees. as well as Rami Husseini  representing Prime Minister Office.  In her intervention, Deputy Head of Mission reiterated that EUPOL COPPS remains committed to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, working closely with our Palestinian counterparts in developing legislation and policy, and to ensure that implementation is carried out in a gender-sensitive manner, promoting the participation of women, providing equal opportunities and most crucially to the prevention of gender-based violence. As an EU CSDP Mission, the fundamental EU values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and human rights are the silver thread of our engagement. We strive to support a Palestinian society where inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail. Also in line with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, EUPOL COPPS has developed its own Gender Action Plan, updated annually, including both internal and external activities. Activities are tailored towards the three pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda: Protection, Participation, and Gender Mainstreaming, and are equally prioritized in the execution of our mandate. The ratification without reservations by Palestine of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is a significant achievement, and a step in the right direction. What remains is to apply the Convention to Palestinian law-making at the very earliest. The Mission is actively supporting gender sensitive drafting of legislation through capacity building of personnel engaged in legal drafting. As an illustration, Deputy Head of Mission reminded that EUPOL COPPS was able to finalise 20 capacity building projects in the justice sector in June, in which 380 people were trained, including 201 women (53%) Congratulating all Palestinian woman and girls on their national day, Deputy Head of Mission concluded by reaffirming the support of EUPOL COPPS for the protection of women’s rights, and the required mechanisms for their implementation, expressing confidence that in this very important sphere, tangible milestones will continue to be achieved.

EUPOL COPPS Mission to maintain strategic support to Palestinian Police

EUPOL COPPS Mission to maintain strategic support to Palestinian Police

During a visit to EUPOL COPPS, the Head of Mission Nataliya Apostolova conveyed to the Chief of Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) Major General Yousif Helo that the Mission would maintain its strategic support to PCP in many fields including cybercrime and environmental crimes. To this effect, Mission is in the process of recruiting highly experienced police advisers to further enhance its support to the PCP, Mrs. Apostolova told Mr. Helo during his visit to the Mission’s premises in Ramallah.  Mr. Helo, together with his senior team, briefed the Head of Mission and senior Mission Members on the challenges that the PCP faces, including the need for new recruits and increasing female personnel in PCP service. The Mission’s contribution will be required in the areas of cybercrime, environmental crimes, traffic and other police sciences to accommodate the needs of the citizens, he said. EUPOL COPPS, which was established in 2006, assists the Palestinian Authority in building its institutions for a future Palestinian state, focusing mainly on security and justice sector reforms, under Palestinian ownership and in accordance with the highest European and international standards.

EUPOL COPPS organizes presentations on managing database for provision of trainings by Palestinian Judicial Institute

EUPOL COPPS organizes presentations on managing database for provision of trainings by Palestinian Judicial Institute

The court team of EUPOL COPPS Mission held presentations this week for the senior management, including the members of the Academic Committee,  of the Palestinian Judicial Institute (PJI) and the staff working in the PJI Training Department to introduce the participants to the key features of the Swedish database system for Training and Learning Management. The presentations for eight participants also touched upon topics related to the organisational structure, mandate and activities of the Swedish Training Academy for Judges with a particular focus on the provision of online training activities as a crises management tool during Coivd-19 pandemic. The presentations were followed by a round-table discussion during which the participants had the opportunity to exchange their thoughts and to identify learning points on how to expand the capacity of the PJI in the field of distance learning and online training. “ The pandemic has in many ways reshaped our way of approaching the provision of legal training by moving us away from teacher-led classroom training towards remote based model of training, said Anna Wielgosz, the Mission’s Justice expert. “Our hope is that this opportunity will help promote further exchange initiatives and strengthen the ongoing cooperation between the EUPOL COPPS and the PJI in order to ensure the quality and continuity of legal training in Palestine - especially in times of public health emergency,” she added

Head of EUPOL COPPS Mission meets with new Chief of Palestinian Police

Head of EUPOL COPPS Mission meets with new Chief of Palestinian Police

EUPOL COPPS Head Nataliya Apostolova met today with the new Chief of Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) Major General Yousif Helo, who was appointed this week. During the fruitful meeting, Mrs. Apostolova together with the Mission’s Head of Police Advisory Section Pasi Aho, congratulated Mr. Helo on the new post and stressed that the Mission stands ready to continue its support to the PCP in all fields of it work to enhance the quality of police services provided to the citizens. “We will do our best to help you to further improve the performance, “said Apostolova. “We have 24 police experts from different EU member states in addition to Canada who have a long experience in a variety of police work and they are ready to lend support,” she added. Major General Helo told Apostolova that he and his team would introduce many changes within the PCP and would further enhance the performance of the PCP though a number of procedures, including consolidated police primacy, improved standard operation procedures, enhanced accountability and to decrease time of police response to the needs of the people. “All these procedures will seek to make the citizens’ needs quickly taken care of by all PCP administrations,” he said. “No one is above the law, me included,” he added. EUPOL COPPS, which was established in 2006, assists the Palestinian Authority in building its institutions for a future Palestinian state, focusing mainly on security and justice sector reforms, under Palestinian ownership and in accordance with the best European and international standards.

EUPOL COPPS supports training on ‘Sentence Planning’ for the Palestinian Penitentiary

EUPOL COPPS supports training on ‘Sentence Planning’ for the Palestinian Penitentiary

EUPOL COPPS penitentiary adviser participated in a training session on ‘Sentence Planning’ and treatment of prisoners for 13 Palestinian correction officers. The training in the northern West Bank City of Nablus for the officers from the Correction and Rehabilitation Centres Department (CRCD) – 10 male and 3 female police officers -- focused on conversational techniques, criminal psychology, classification of inmates and how to use the sentence planning template when doing risk/need assessment and treatment plan for the individual inmate. A Sentence plan describes the treatment and activities that the inmate should complete while in prison in order to reduce the risk of reoffending and to support the adaptation to a life in society. The Sentence planning instrument was implemented with the help of the Mission in 2019 and started as a pilot project at the prison in Jericho. The correction and the rehabilitation centres  in Nablus and Jenin will be the second and third to execute the plan.  The immediate result of this training was that the officers are ready to implement a structured sentence planning for the inmates at the two newly built prisons which have been built via funding from the Office of the EU Representative. “In order to achieve the expected results, the prisoners should be encouraged to engage with the sentence plan and be involved in setting targets,” said Mark Tingvall, the Mission’s Penitentiary Adviser. “The Sentence planning project pulls the CRCD to more client-centered efforts when working with inmates. This will enable a better rehabilitation for prisoners to society,” he adds.  

EUPOL COPPS urges protection of the environment

EUPOL COPPS urges protection of the environment

  Henrik Forssblad, EUPOL COPPS’ Environmental Crime Police Adviser, said that protecting the environment was of paramount importance for Palestine and praised the efforts of the Palestinian Authority in combating illegal dumping of waste and hazardous materials. The Swedish expert, who has over 20 years of experience in combating environmental crimes,  together with the Head of the Environment Quality Authority (EQA) Jamil Emtour, toured a dumping site near Ramallah and saw for themselves the immense amount of waste littering the beautiful olive groves in the area. “The leachate resulting from the decomposition of this landfill site is highly polluting and ultimately seeps down to the underground water aquifers,” said Forssblad. “All should contribute in maintaining a cleaner environment for the benefit of future generations,” he added. The landfill contains plastic containers, wood, glass, metal and other construction material debris.  Mr. Emtour said that the dumping of waste also causes significant health problems for the surrounding population. EUPOL COPPS, which provides support to the Palestinian Civil Police and the Judiciary, has recently paid special attention to environmental issues in order to assist Palestinian counterparts in maintaining a clean environment.  

   Cyber blackmail awareness campaign launched

Cyber blackmail awareness campaign launched

The Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) launched a campaign, aimed at promoting awareness on cyber blackmail in collaboration with EUPOL COPPS.  The goal of the campaign is to  educate users in Palestine on the risks and consequences caused by careless internet use and also raising awareness among people to be more cautious while sharing data on the web and social media due to the rem growth and development of the online space locally and internationally. This advancement is an opportunity for unscrupulous users who take advantage of this growth to harm other people,  violate their privacy and use their personal data and pictures to obtain financial gain illegally. Alessandro Buono, EUPOL COPPS’ Cyber Crime Expert has been advising the PCP in the past two years to come up with new ideas to combat the phenomenon of blackmail by means of general prevention. The project, developed in strict cooperation with the PCP Cyber Crime Department and the contractor Extra Production, intends to reach the widest possible range of Palestinian population throughout all existing media, including TV radio and traditional broadcastings, and obviously Internet and social media. It would focus on students in secondary schools, public and private universities and their parents so they stay alert and protected from being victims to these kinds of threats. Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network. They are often carried out in order to generate profit for the cybercriminals or to target computers or devices directly to damage or disable them. “Cybercriminals may also target an individual's private information, as well as corporate data for theft and resale,” Buono said at the launching of the event in Ramallah.  

Three Palestinian Chief Prosecutors conclude comprehensive pilot mentoring programme on effective leadership

Three Palestinian Chief Prosecutors conclude comprehensive pilot mentoring programme on effective leadership

Three Palestinian Chief Prosecutors received certificates for completing a comprehensive mentoring programme on effective leadership, supported and funded by EUPOL COPPS. The programme was launched in August 2020 and included dozens of mentoring sessions, including a two-day workshop delivered by Finnish experts specialised in effective leadership. The aim of the programme is to enhance the professional leadership competencies of prosecutor’s in order to best perform the functions assigned to the prosecution.    Nataliya Apostolova, the Head of EUPOL COPPS Mission, and Akram Al-Khatib, the Attorney General, distributed the certificates to the Chief Prosecutors Ms. Nawja Abdallah, Mr. Al'aa Tamimi and Mr. Jamil Sajdeya. “You know that the best prosecutor is a good leader, too. A good leader provides guidance and support, encouragement, and motivation to inspire his or her subordinates to flourish and grow” Apostolova told the prosecutors.    

EUPOL COPPS advisers say environmental crimes cannot be tolerated

EUPOL COPPS advisers say environmental crimes cannot be tolerated

If people cause significant harm to the environment or to human health, now they have to think twice before committing such a crime. The Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), with the help of EUPOL COPPS Mission, are exerting additional efforts punish those who commit acts of illegal dumping of wastes and hazardous materials in Palestine.  The  Mission has recently gave a special attention to this new field  of work and listed it as one of its leading programmes to support the PCP in its endeavour to fight environmental crimes. “The illegal dumping of wastes has resulted in a global contamination of nature and threaten local ecosystems,” said Henrik Forssblad, a Swedish Environmental Crime police adviser who has over 20 years ‘ experience in combating such crimes in his home country. “I have noticed that the PCP does not tolerate such crimes, as we don’t in Sweden,” he added. Forssblad started sharing his diverse experience with his Palestinian counterparts since he took his job at the Mission in beginning of 2020. He and other Mission advisers recently went to Bethlehem district and visited the nearby village of Battir  to see for themselves  the kind of environmental crimes there and best ways to tackle them.   In Bethlehem, the Mission advisers met the Head of Antiquities and Tourism Police and his staff presented the efforts being exerted to combat environmental crimes - obviously with great engagement and with an impressing result. The two sides paid visits to places where environmental crimes have been committed. They saw large amounts of dumped waste in areas near Bethlehem.