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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Department for International Trade

UIN 92735, tabled on 21 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 76 of the report of the United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen dated 9 September 2020, whether she has made an assessment of the alleged violations of international humanitarian law in that report with respect to the recruitment, transportation, training and deployment as combatants of children by forces under the command of the Saudi-led coalition and government of Yemen; and if she will make an assessment of the risk that arms or equipment licensed for export from the UK were used by the forces responsible for those alleged violations of international humanitarian law, or by the children they placed in combat roles.

Answered on

1 October 2020

HM Government takes any such allegations extremely seriously and was deeply concerned by the allegations contained in the Group of Eminent Experts’ latest report. The United Kingdom urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations, to take action to uphold rights and responsibilities, and to cooperate with the Group in future.

We take our export responsibilities seriously and assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.