A coalition of international aid and charity organisations - including Save the Children - is calling on the United Nations Secretary General to ensure that perpetrators of war violations against children are named and held to account.
With the imminent release of the UN Secretary General’s annual report on children and armed conflict, the 21 charities have jointly urged that it explicitly and accurately name those responsible for a range of well documented war violations against children in Yemen.
A United Nations investigation in August 2018 found that parties to the war in Yemen may have committed war crimes including airstrikes which killed thousands of civilians, as well as rape and torture.
Last year the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition was found responsible for 19 attacks on schools and 5 attacks on hospitals.
An estimated 85,000 children have died of starvation and disease, and on average, 37 children are killed each month by foreign-made bombs.
These and other atrocities have led to calls for this list to shine a spotlight on the actions and identities of perpetrators of war violations against children, including the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition.
An opinion article by Canada’s former UN Ambassador and UN Special Envoy for Children and Conflict, stresses the importance the UN Secretary General’s ‘list of shame’.
Save the Children, together with 20 other leading aid groups, has written to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to express concerns, including the nature of the listing of the Saudi-Emirati led Coalition in last year’s report.
The letter states in part: “We urge you to avoid prematurely delisting parties that continue to violate children’s rights in conflict.”
Save the Children Director of Policy and International Programs Mat Tinkler said publishing an accurate list was a simple and effective way to protect children caught in the conflict in Yemen, by holding those responsible to account.
“Immediate steps must be taken to protect Yemen’s children and to hold those who have caused them harm to account,” Mr Tinkler said.
“Yemen’s children remain under attack. For more than four years now, they have been killed and injured in their homes, on their way to school and at the marketplace. They have even been bombed in hospitals and at funerals for their friends.
“One of the simplest mechanisms to help stop this war on children is for the UN Secretary General to name and shame those responsible in the annual Children and Armed Conflict report.”
Throughout 2019, it’s Centenary year, Save the Children is calling on the Australian Government to do more to Stop the War on Children, including in Yemen by ending the export of Australian made weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
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