Alhuquq Center is an independent non-governmental, non-partisan association founded to benefit the Arab Bedouin citizens of the Negev living in both recognized towns and unrecognized villages in Israel and to protect their legal, social, human, economic and civic rights. There is a need for such services in light of the governmental policies aimed at the Arab Bedouin residents of the Negev, which are increasingly discriminatory, and the government’s diligence in carrying their policies
There are approximately 220,000 Bedouin living in the Alnaqab Desert in Israel, in both recognized and unrecognized villages. Recognized villages receive public services such as schools, clinics, water and electricity, but settlement in a village means giving up traditional livelihoods. In unrecognized villages, conditions are deplorable. These villages are deprived of public services such as electricity, water and infrastructure, and they only build elementary schools, depriving children of their right to education, because building schools in a village means the village is recognized by the state.
Housing and land rights are of major concern to the Bedouin as residents in unrecognized villages face about 800 housing demolition orders yearly as part of the government’s plan to forcibly resettle them in recognized villages where opportunities for employment are limited.
We work with local councils, civil society organizations, local and international human rights organizations, foreign embassies, elected political leadership and the private sector to achieve our goals and establish a wide network.
How we work – Legal Representation and Litigation
As a minority within a minority, the Bedouin face discrimination and obstacles to realizing their full human rights. We choose to represent groups of Bedouin with an eye towards setting legal precedents to make achieving their rights easier.
We see the area of education to be one where we can make the biggest impact. We have represented parents’ committee in their struggle to get local municipalities and the Ministry of Education to finance and build schools with enough space to properly educate the next generation and to build preschools for children aged 3-4 as required by law.
We work to allow Bedouin to be able to hold elections for local government and have their own representation. We intercede on behalf of villages that have issues with local authorities to work out acceptable solutions. Any group of Bedouin that requires legal assistance can turn to us for legal counsel and if need be, legal representation.
Village’s access to Route 31 cut off by construction work
Advocacy and Empowerment
The Bedouin have undergone an extremely rapid modernization process since the founding of the State of Israel. As their population grows and state decisions have an increasing effect their lives, Bedouin want to learn more about their rights and how to effectively claim them. We are their partner with our advocacy and empowerment program. We are beginning with high school students and going into schools to teach students about their rights and how to effectively deal with government agencies as well as how to do basics such as fill out government forms.
Our website is planned to be not only a place for Bedouin and everyone to find out about our work, but it will also be a one-stop site for articles about issues affecting the Bedouin as well as basic facts and stories about the Bedouin and their way of life.