Support our advocacy work
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 democracy. 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:
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.
We are witnessing a huge opportunity for transformation in the Arab world. One of the main obstacles, however, is a lack of democratic experience. One of the roles Britain can play is by providing technical assistance. The dramatic changes unfolding in the region show just how much Caabu and its work is needed. So many in Britain still fail to understand the Arab world. The additional focus on the Middle East and North Africa over the past few months has however stretched Caabu’s capacity, and if we are to continue with this work and ensure that regional events receive the necessary attention of the UK parliament, we will require additional financial support to continue this work. In particular, we aim to run two one-day workshops bringing together 20 experts to examine the different aspects of the challenge and which countries the UK can play a constructive role in and to determine the most effective forms of assistance. As a follow-up to these workshops we want to produce a comprehensive report on the ways in which the UK and other external actors could help to promote democracy movements in the Middle East and North Africa
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. We have recently hosted the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency Filippo Grandi and in December 2011 will host Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman in parliament. 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)
At present over 90 parliamentarians are members of Caabu, but we hope to increase this number significantly over the course of the current parliament. With 234 newly elected MPs in the House of Commons, an event in parliament would be very useful in order to engage with a new audience. Parliamentary receptions are an excellent way to network, raise awareness and recruit new parliamentary members. Cost £5,000
Party conference 2013
In recent years Caabu has been forced to scale back operations at the autumn party conferences. Previously we have hosted very well attended fringe receptions at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative conferences. These provide excellent networking opportunities and are an important venue for engaging with politically active party members on the Middle East. Funding would allow us to build on the success of previous events and host a series of relevant events in 2012. Cost: £12,000