About

Who we are.

An All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) occupies a strategic and effective position within Parliament.  It is cross-party, with a minimum number of Parliamentarians from the Government and the official opposition; and cross-house, made up of both peers and MPs.  APPGs function as an important tool to develop balanced and informed debate on key issues.

The Group’s status is that of an All Party Parliamentary Group, bound by the rules set out by The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.  It does not have charitable status, official status in the House nor is it funded by Parliament.  The Group was founded in October 2012.

The Group is chaired by Tom Watson MP (Lab); the Vice Chairs are Zac Goldsmith MP (Con) and Baroness Stern (CB); the Treasurer is John Hemming MP (LD); and the Secretary is Dave Anderson MP (Lab).

The Group’s entry on the Register of All-Party Groups can be found here.

Purpose of the APPG.

To examine the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) by governments, for domestic and international, military and civilian purposes.

Themes of the APPG’s work.

The initial focus of the APPG will be upon three key areas:- the use of drones by the United States in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere; their use by the UK internationally; and their use domestically in the UK by police forces and others. Within these themes is a need to examine the legal and ethical frameworks which govern the use of drones.

Objectives

  • The effective use of the Parliamentary system, through statements, debates, Early Day Motions and Questions on the use of drones;
  • Engagement of MPs and Lords on the issue of drones through discussion, meetings and other activities;
  • Raised awareness of the human rights issues on the use of drones and the contribution they make to the proliferation of conflict;
  • External engagement with NGOs, academics and think tanks and through broader media outreach;
  • Increased accountability and transparency on the use of drones by the UK, domestically and internationally.

The Group’s added value is its location in Parliament and thus its ability to engage with Parliamentarians and policy makers in other jurisdictions.

The APPG is staffed by a human rights researcher, Anna Thomas.

The APPG has been generously supported by grants from the Persula Foundation, Edith M Ellis 1985 Charitable Trust, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, Reprieve and the Trust for Research and Education on the Arms Trade.

If you would like further information about the work of the Group, please contact Anna Thomas via email: anna.thomas [at] parliament.uk; or write to: All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, c/o Office of Tom Watson MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Pingback: Welcome to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones’ Blog | All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones

  2. Pingback: GCHQ Surveillance Likely Illegal, Says Leading UK Barrister : Just Security

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