I joined more than 60 activists including 24 school children at Westminster 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.
More than 20 British school children aged between 11-13 years of age from Beverley High School in Yorkshire and Ousedale School in Buckinghamshire have been working with Save the Children campaigning and fundraising for children in Yemen.
They came together with activists from across the country to form a group of 60, staging a stunt in Victoria Tower Gardens that included an installation of a large pen containing thousands of regular-sized pens, to illustrate the petition signatures. The children also used the pens to spell out ‘words not weapons’ on a board outside parliament. Following the stunt installation, the school children and campaigners walked to the Foreign Office in Westminster with a giant pen to present the printed names of the 58,000 signatories.
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.
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.