Civitas: Palestinian Refugee Mobilisation

The Civitas report, Palestinians Register: Laying Foundations and Setting Directions, published in November 2006, gathered contributions from Palestinians living in refugee camps and in exile communities across the world. Structured around the principal themes that emerged during public and syndicate debates and meetings arranged by community organisers in over 25 countries where Palestinian refugees and exiles live, the report reflects the enormous range of concerns, needs, and priorities of Palestinian communities in exile as well as inside occupied Palestine.

This collective research was initiated to record, through participatory meetings, the voices and recommendations of Palestinian refugee communities living in exile in the Middle East, Europe and further afield. Its focus was on the measures required to strengthen and rebuild civic structures and mechanisms, and to enable better communication with the national representative the PLO and its institutions, the host country, humanitarian agencies that serve them, and other refugee communities, both inside and outside of Palestine.

Some of the key issues raised were: ‘the Need to Re-activate and Revive the PLO’; ‘Channels of Communication with the Host Country’; ‘Status and Conditions in Host Countries’; ‘Accessibility, Transparency, Inclusivity, and Accountability in UNRWA and UN Agencies’; ‘Connecting Palestinian Refugee and Exile Communities’; ‘Mechanisms of Mobilization and Representation at local, regional and international levels’; the ‘Right of Return’ and the ‘Next Generation’.

The mobilisation initiative continues through 2009-2010, with a programme addressing implementation of the main recommendations, in cooperation with grass-roots civic organisations, international institutions, and national bodies.

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