Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a Trust grantee, has been nominated alongside its partner Mwatana for Human Rights, a grassroots organisation in Yemen, for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, for their collective work to stop the UK government’s sales of arms to Saudi Arabia. The nomination is particularly focussed on the two groups’ ongoing court case to challenge the UK government’s decision to resume arms sales to the Saudi regime for us in the war in Yemen.
The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo on 8 October 2021. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place in Oslo on 10 December 2021.
CAAT believes the arms business “has a devastating impact on human rights and security, and damages economic development”. Moreover, the procurement of these weapons only reinforces “a militaristic approach to international problems” as stated on the organisation’s website. They work with a global network of partners, supporters and activists to end UK arms sales to support war, repression and violence around the world.
The award not only honours the organisations’ long-standing commitment to the issues, but serves as an important moment to draw global attention to the ongoing suffering of the Yemeni people who are experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
According to the UNHCR, “More than 3.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes and 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Almost two-thirds of the population – approximately 20 million people – are on the brink of famine.” CAAT maintains that this crisis is a direct result of the actions of the Saudi-led coalition made possible by weapons supplied by the UK and sustained by its ongoing military support. For a country already suffering from severe issues of poverty, malnutrition and suffering before the war, the Saudi-led violence has put the people in an even more vulnerable and dire situation.
CAAT’s partner Mwatana is an independent Yemeni organisation that advocates for human rights through the verification and documentation of violations, provision of legal support to victims, lobbying, as well as awareness raising and capacity building.
Over the past several years, they have taken on the dangerous task of documenting human rights violations by all parties to the war and raising the voices of victims in exceptionally dangerous circumstances. As Radhya Almutawakel, chairperson of Mwatana, says, “This nomination is a source of strength for Mwatana as we continue our work towards a Yemen where there is credible and holistic accountability and redress for the civilians who have suffered the horrors of this war.”
“We are truly honoured that our campaigning is being acknowledged in this way. This nomination is a tribute to all of us,” CAAT acknowledged on its website. “If you have ever signed a petition, come to a protest, shared on social media, written to your MP, made a donation, or taken any other action against the arms trade, you have helped to make this happen.”
To learn more and join CAAT’s campaigns please visit: https://caat.org.uk/.
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