Adopting Rights-Based Approach to Community Practice: The Experience of the Community ‎Service Center

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Preferred Abstract (Original): 

This study explores the experience of adopting and implementing a Rights-Based Approach (RBA) to community practice in Palestine using a case study methodology. The studied case is a community-based organization that is university affiliated and voluntary efforts-oriented; the Community Service Center (CSC). CSC is affiliated to An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine and is a partner in the McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building (MMEP), Montreal, Canada. CSC works in a context that is characterized by political, social and economic instability and uncertainty. Community work in this context, as a method of social work, is expected to target its goals through addressing issues of social and political nature simultaneously; contribute to national aspirations of building a state after decades of occupation and working to realize human rights of the disadvantaged through their empowerment and participation. Human rights-based social work constituted the theoretical framework of the study. This framework is based on linking human rights and social work in a way consistent with the mission of social work as a profession that targets the barriers to accessing human rights; poverty, discrimination, and lack of education. Therefore, a human rights-based community practice should imply respect of human rights in its means and outcomes. Data about this experience was collected from three sources; CSC documents, a sample of persons who were involved in CSC work, and the researcher's own experience as a founding director of the organization. Data was collected using qualitative methods; interviewing study participants, reviewing documents, and reflection on researcher's experience. Data was analyzed using qualitative traditions