Contribution details

Stärka fackliga rörelsens roll i Palestina/Strengthening the role of trade unions in Palestine

Activity start: 1/1/2016 - Activity end: 12/31/2019

Strategic Partner organisation Olof Palmes Internationella Center
Swedish responsible organisation Olof Palmes Internationella Center
Local implementing organisation Democracy and Workers' Rights Center in Palestine
Region West Bank and Gaza Strip
Sida department Unit CSO
Strategy South
Sector group Democracy, human rights and gender equality
Sectors Democr. particip. & civ. society
  Budget Outcome
TOTAL 2,272,500 2,385,000
2016 495,000 495,000
2017 495,000 495,000
2018 540,000 540,000
2019 742,500 855,000

Description, goals and expected results


The project is implemented in Palestine. The main target groups are about 1500 newly elected workers’ representatives of independent and democratic unions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Through skills-development training, trade union forum, workshop on organising and coordinating, social media activities and annual conferences the project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Trade Unions.

Projektorganisationer/Project Organisations

The project is a cooperation between The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center (DWRC) and The Palme Center.

DWRC in Palestine is a center that defend Palestinian workers’ rights and promotes the principles of democracy and social justice in the Palestine. Since 1993 DWRC has established the Legal Aid and Human Rights Protection Unit and The Training and Education Unit. DWRC runs three programmes: the Research and Study Programme, the Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Programme and the Work Environment and Occupational Safe and Health Programme. The branch in the Gaza Strip runs the same programmes.

Projektmål/Project Objective

Strengthen the representative and bargaining power of trade unions, representing Palestinian women, men and youth.

Results achived by the end of the activity period

Resultat från verksamhetsår 2018:

DWRC has strengthened the representative and bargaining power of trade unions through supporting the establishment of new unions and assisting existing unions in gaining additional affiliates and proceeding with their conferences and elections.

Seven 7 trade unions were established in the West Bank, and one workers’ committee in Gaza, as well as the reactivation of a professional association in the West Bank. These unions and workers’ committee represent 859 female and male workers (35.8% of them women).

Municipal workers in the Hebron governorate have been working on establishing a federation for municipal workers to strengthen their representative and bargaining power. So far, 14 unions have been established. These unions are now reviewing the internal regulation of the federation and carrying on with the legal procedures that should be taken with the concerned authorities.

In the West Bank, 77 female teachers in kindergartens, private schools and day-care joined the Kindergarten and Private Schools Workers’ Union. However, members of the branch union in Bethlehem are planning to hold their conference in the coming period. In addition, one workers’ committee representing 100 workers (88 of them women) working for the Palestinian Early Childhood Education Programs in Gaza was established. Thus, DWRC continued supporting women’s organizing in the private education sector.

During DWRC´s annual trade union forum, unionists established a coordination committee for unifying the trade union movement and holding democratic elections from bottom to top. This committee met twice after the forum to propose measures to correct the situation in order to open perspectives for unifying the trade union movement.

DWRC´s follow-up with 71% of the participants in its organising skills course showed that 80% of trainees contributed in developing intervention plans within their unions in order to solve issues faced by their unions. All of them shared the skills and knowledge gained with members of their unions through board meetings, social media, and awareness meetings, and 50% of the trainees took part in reviewing the internal regulation of their union and proposing amendments on needed articles, such as membership condition and fees.

The project has contributed to the Palestine program by mobilising and organising workers to participate in social process. The increasing number of women in this process and trade unions ‘bodies has positively changed the traditional norms. DWRC continues cooperation with the Labour Ministry in order to influence the national labour policy concerning the draft law for union organising. Media repports (19) on DWRC and trade unions activities connected to the project is confirmation that DWRC is recognised as an agnet of change in the Palestinian society.