As a human rights research and training institute, The Protection Project is constantly engaged in consulting governments, international organizations and non-governmental agencies on the development of legislation and policies that promote the compliance with international human rights standards. Below is the description of some of our activities.
About our Legal Reform Activities
The Protection Project activities in the field of legal reform range from consulting with international organizations on the interpretation of international law to working with governments and non-governmental organizations on drafting and implementing human rights legislation.
- Drafting Human Rights Legislation Expert Group: The Group is a panel of experts in international human rights, comparative law, and criminal justice with wide expertise in drafting human rights legislation at the national and international levels. In the world today there are many organizations and institutions whose purpose is that of drafting model legislation in human rights that national decision makers can refer to when amending domestic law. The Group aims at consolidating the knowledge of these organizations and serving as a forum to discuss the development of human rights legislation and the guiding principles of human rights drafting. To promote this aim, The Protection Project organizes conferences and expert group meetings around the world and drafts Model Laws and National Action Plans on human rights issues including The Elements of a Model Law on Trafficking in Persons, a Model Law on Violence Against Women, a Model Law on Child Protection, an Arab Model Law on Freedom of Association and NGO Establishment and Operation, and an Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons.
- Harmonization of the law: Since 2012, the Protection Project has been cooperating with the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the so-called “Sister organizations” in the field of harmonization of the law, to promote the adherence of the countries of the Middle East to the work of the three organizations. In this regard, on September 9-10, 2012, The Protection Project held a conference in Beirut, Lebanon titled: “The Harmonization of the Law: the Hague Conference, UNIDROIT and UNCITRAL” in cooperation with Beirut Arab University. Experts from the Middle East and the sister organizations addressed issues such as the place of Islamic law in the legal family, Islamic law as a source of international principles of the law, reservations made by Muslim countries to international conventions, the merging of common law and civil law principles in the areas of contract law, human rights and contract law, and model laws as effective means of harmonization of the law.
- Consultations with the United Nations: Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) asserts that “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.” To assist the members of the CEDAW Committee in pursuing their goal under Article 6, on July 20, 2012 The Protection Project presented a publication entitled “Reporting on the Status of Trafficking in Women in Accordance with Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: Guidelines on the Interpretation of the Text of Article 6 of the Convention” at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Through analysis of the submitted Reports of over 150 countries and the CEDAW Committee’s subsequent responding Concluding Observations, The Protection Project developed robust definitions for every component of the Article to ensure the provision affords the broadest protection possible for victims of trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution. Currently, The Protection Project is working on a similar project with the members of the CEDAW Committee on the interpretation of Article 10 of the CEDW Convention which guarantees the Right to Education. The project focuses on how “women who lack education and vocational skills may be more susceptible to trafficking” and offers additional measures which may be taken to prevent this serious violation of human rights, including expansive education programs and trainings.
- . In partnership with the Association of Arab Universities, in 2011 The Protection Project launched the Reforming Legal Curricula in the Arab World project. In this regard, The Protection Project works with professors of law schools and other experts of legal curriculum reform from the Arab countries, the United States and Europe, to improve the legal curriculum at universities in the Arab world as a mode of providing law students across the Arab world with excellence in education and effective preparation for the demands of the international, regional and domestic labor markets. Reforming legal education in the Arab World includes re-examining teaching methodologies such as the credit system, the necessary modules, distance learning, teaching assistance and continuous legal education. As part of the project, in March 2013 The Protection Project hosted a conference in Qatar with professors and experts from 44 universities throughout the Arab World to discuss accreditation criteria for clinical legal education programs. There, The Protection Project proposed a uniform adoption of accreditation system for clinical legal programs at universities in the Arab World. With its partners, The Protection Project continues to advocate for the reform of clinical legal education to expand the overall capacity of human rights education