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Future Generations: Voices of Yemeni Youth

“One of the most frightening things about this war is that it may rob young Yemenis of their ability to dream and hope.” – Anonymous, Yemeni youth activist. 

 

LONDON, November 16 - Today, four leading Yemeni youth speakers/activists held an online discussion with Minister James Cleverly MP, the UK’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa. 

Hosted by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Save the Children in collaboration with Yemeni partners, including the Yemen Youth Platform for Peace, the event aimed to provide an opportunity for Yemen’s youth to share their views and experiences on local peacebuilding efforts in their country as the war rages on in its sixth year.

Anonymous, Yemeni youth activist.

“Investing in Yemen's youth innovation and in their potential means opening doors to help in resolving the emerging climate issues and in overcoming multiple insurmountable challenges that Yemen is facing.”

Anonymous, Yemeni youth activist.

“One of the most frightening things about this war is that it may rob young Yemenis of their ability to dream and hope.”

Anonymous, Yemeni youth activist.

“As a young woman in Yemen and on the front lines of the war financed by major countries, I hope that we will all have a high level of moral responsibility to improve the situation of Yemenis in general and the situation of women and young women in particular. Let us work to end the war and alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and we can all contribute to building a safe and stable Yemen until we are not all on the dark side of history.”

Anonymous, Yemeni youth activist.

“As long as the conflict in Yemen continues, with no serious steps taken by the parties to the conflict and the international community to protect children from grave violations of their rights, including killing and maiming of children, abduction, attacks against schools or hospitals and child recruitment, we will be waiting for a new generation of children knowing nothing but war, and another level of violence than we are witnessing today”

James Cleverly MP, Minister for Middle East and North Africa, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, who hosted the event added:

“Many Yemeni children and young people have only known lives ravaged by war. They face unimaginable threats, including violence and the alarming risk of famine. They must have their voices heard.

“The UK is the fourth biggest donor to Yemen so far in 2020, pledging over £1 billion in aid since the conflict began, and we are committed to a UN-led peace process inclusive of marginalised and diverse voices. Enabling young people to participate at all levels is vital to empowering future generations to support peace and rebuild Yemen’s future.”

Kirsty McNeill, Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children UK in her final remarks noted that:

“We all will have a better understanding of the world if we stop and pay attention to the hope, perspectives, and dreams of the next generation. And today we heard that generation of Yemenis speak. Theirs is a vision of Yemen without war, a Yemen where they can learn, work, raise a family, live in peace. 

I want to thank the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Minister Cleverly in particular, for hosting this event; helping to elevate the voices of Yemeni youth is the definition of being a force for good. 

I truly hope today will act as a launchpad for greater action by the international community and Yemen’s leaders to engage with Yemeni children and young people. We must ensure we empower the next generation in support of peace, as they are the key to rebuilding Yemen’s future.”

Children and youth make up the majority of Yemen’s population, yet too often their views are discounted or not heard. The need for new and diverse Yemeni voices to support peace is greater than ever. Yemen’s leaders and the international community must start listening to the next generation and ensure Yemeni youth have the peace they need to be safe, to learn and to thrive.

ENDS

Media@savethechildren.org.uk 

+44 7831 650 409