Caabu is one of the most active NGOs working on the Middle East in the British parliament. We aim to create a more constructive and positive UK foreign policy towards the region by supporting human rights, international law and civil society.
Our advocacy programme helps to ensure that parliamentarians are kept fully briefed on the latest developments in the Middle East, whilst our highly successful series of delegations allows MPs and Peers to visit the region and the experience its key issues at first hand.
We are seeking funding to advocate on:
Opposing any Israeli annexation
The new Israeli Government has declared its determination to annex areas of territories it occupied in June 1967. This action is the key plank of the agreed Israeli coalition platform. It states that the Government can advance legislation on annexation after 1 July both in cabinet and in the Knesset. Caabu is pressing the British government to oppose this with actions not words. Such a serious violation of international law must not go unanswered.
Rights of Palestinian children
Approximately 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted every year in military courts after being arrested, detained and interrogated by Israeli forces. Since 2000, more than 7,000 children have been held. Interviews take the form of military style interrogations, and despite UN demands to end the practice, without video recording. Lawyers and family members are not present and it is common that the first time a detainee will see their legal representative is inside the military court itself. Caabu has been working extensively on this - see here
The situation in Area C
Today over 150,000 Palestinians live in Area C of the West Bank, where construction of even the most basic of structures is prohibited by the Israeli military. This has denied Palestinians living in the area access to adequate housing, education and health care. Caabu has taken a number of parliamentary delegations out to the region. Caabu delegates procured a Parliamentary debate on the issue in 2012
Caabu’s Syria programme started in 2011 to highlight events in Syria, improve understanding of the uprising and protests in the country, raise issues of human rights, international law and the humanitarian situation. With media access to the country heavily restricted, Caabu’s Syria programme is especially crucial in informing parliamentary debate. Caabu seeks UK government support for an inclusive Syrian political solution for the country, full access for aid into all the country, and accountability of human rights abuses and war crimes.
Caabu’s briefings allow parliamentarians to hear from key figures in the Middle East. Briefings take place in parliament and speakers include respected academics, foreign dignitaries, staff from international NGO and members of the diplomatic community. These briefings ensure that MPs and Lords are provided with relevant and timely analysis of regional events. We generally hold around 15 briefings per year and topics are reflective of key issues. Cost: £10,500 (£700 per briefing)
Caabu’s comprehensive delegation programme is crucial in helping MPs and Lords gain firsthand experience of the Middle East. Since 1997 we have taken forty delegations to a variety of Arab countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Libya. We have also arranged and led a number of parliamentary visits to the Palestinian Territory and Israel. These visits allow MPs to explore the key issues facing the region and help to ensure that parliamentary debate is informed by detailed personal knowledge. Cost: £10,000 (for five-person delegation with staff costs and organisation time)
Post-delegation advocacy and policy report
Post-delegation advocacy is crucial to the programme, but we require funding to ensure that policy reports can be professionally produced and distributed and to raise critical issues in the media. This allows for the key findings of the delegation to spread around a wider audience of Ministers, MPs, Lords, foreign office officials and members of the government, as well as to journalists and the public. Cost: £28,500 (including 1 major report and 3 further follow-up reports, public meetings, staff-time and printing)