Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, joined more than 60 activists including 24 school children at Westminster this week to support the hand in of a peace petition to the Foreign Office. The activists want the UK government to hear them standing up for the children of Yemen and turn political promises into practical change at the UN Security Council. The petition of more than 58,000 calls for action from the UK Government to use the power of its pen at the UN to bring peace to the children of Yemen.
School children have been working with Save the Children, campaigning and fundraising for children in Yemen. Children at Bootham School made posters to show that they want peace in Yemen which were on display. Recent reports of increased fighting in Yemen, already the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, have cast doubt on the future of the Stockholm peace process which began in December last year.
The slim window of opportunity to secure peace in Yemen is now and Rachael Maskell MP joined British children and campaigners to show solidarity with the children of Yemen.
Ms Maskell said: ‘I am delighted to support Save the Children’s petition hand in. These British children believe the children of Yemen deserve a better future, witnessing their determination to hold our government to account is a reminder to us all that we must be persistent in our pursuit of peace. Following four years of conflict the civilians of Yemen continue to fight for survival. For the sake of Yemen’s children, we must urge our government to use its influence at the UN Security Council and create a future without conflict. It is fantastic to see that children are actively involving themselves in what is happening in our world. Last week we saw a huge turnout where school children went on strike for the climate change demonstration. It is wonderful to see such global awareness in young people’
Save the Children is calling on the UK to put children front and centre of its foreign, defence and aid policies, calling out allies when they commit atrocities against children, and implementing a clear strategy to protect children and their families caught up in conflict.
Ms. Maskell also met with a human rights defender from Yemen and people engaged in civil society and community activism, who came to Parliament to make a case to change our foreign policy to support sustainability and local political self-determination. She will be following up this discussion by writing to the Foreign Secretary.