This research was undertaken by researchers and faculty from the Institute of Community and Public Health (ICPH) at Birzeit University (BZU). In pursuit of ICPH’s continued and long-term research endeavors in the area of reframing health in wars and conflicts to suit local and regional realities, and likely other conflict affected zones , this research pertains to the development of a metric that measures human rights violations and their effects on life and health. ICPH has already developed metrics to measure humiliation, exposure to violence, insecurity, distress, deprivation, and uncertainty. Currently, given the particular interest in human rights, especially in light of the different forms of violations that surfaced during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the opportunity to conduct this study to develop a human rights violations metric. ICPH’s team began with a qualitative study investigating local understandings of fundamental human rights and human rights violations in the oPt as reported by a diverse sample of Palestinians in the West Bank. The goal was to develop a scale from the ground up based on the qualitative findings and pilot it before conducting a large survey that links violations of human rights to life and health.
ICPH’s approach entails understanding human rights from the ecological perspective. In other words, there are violations taking place at home, in community/society, by the government, be it economic or political, and the Israeli occupation. This report highlights the main findings of the qualitative study and emphasizes what human rights mean to ordinary people, and the different violations of human rights people experience in the different settings.