A Yemeni girl plays with her doll.

Update from the UN: Holding the Saudi-led coalition to account

Getting the attention of the UN Secretary General

Last month, we delivered our petition calling on the UN to list the Saudi Arabia-Led Coalition on this year’s Children in Armed Conflict Report, alongside all the other states and groups who have committed grave violations against children in the conflict in Yemen.

Over 37,500 of us signed the petition, and clearly we have had an impact on the Secretary General Antonio Gutterres.

Our voices heard by those in charge

Following our petition, a draft version of the report leaked, indicating that the Saudi-led coalition will be listed.

Furthermore, we have since received an encouraging response to our petition from Mr Gutterres himself. He says that he shares our:

“Worry for the protection of civilians in Yemen, especially children”.

He also said that he and his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict  are “following events on the ground with great attention.”

Gutterres asserted:

“I am confident that this year’s report…will help to raise awareness about their plight, catalyse preventative action and will contribute to effective advocacy efforts”.

While this is definitely not conclusive, it is encouraging to hear that our petition has been noticed, and that there will be attention paid to the plight of Yemen’s children in this year’s report.

Keeping the pressure on

Our campaign has been noticed by those in charge.

What remains to be seen is if the Secretary General will finally back up these words with concrete action, and list the Saudi Arabia-Led Coalition for its actions against children in Yemen.

We will all be watching.

Our work isn’t done

Our work to help children in Yemen won’t end, even when the final report is published.

We’re also calling on the British Foreign Secretary to do more to help Yemen’s children – join us.

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