Skip to main content

Yemen: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL4193, tabled on 3 December 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they are giving to the call by Save the Children for the UK to stop selling arms to any party involved in the conflict in Yemen while there is a risk that they might be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights law.

Answered on

14 December 2015

We are aware of reports of alleged violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Yemen by the Coalition, including alleged airstrikes resulting in civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, and take these very seriously. We have regularly raised our concerns with the Saudi-Arabian authorities and received assurances that they are complying with IHL. We continue to engage with Saudi Arabia on those assurances and have offered advice and training to demonstrate best practice and to help ensure continued compliance with IHL.

The UK operates one of the most rigorous and transparent export control regimes in the world. All exports of arms and controlled military goods are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application. Risks around human rights violations are a key part of our assessment against the Consolidated Criteria. A licence will not be issued, for any country, if to do so would be inconsistent with any provision of the UK Licensing Criteria, including where we assess there is a clear risk that it might be used in the commission of a serious violation of IHL.