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Yemen: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 98231, tabled on 1 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations in the UN Group of Eminent Experts' report on Yemen calling on (a) the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Yemen to the International Criminal Court and b) third states to stop transferring arms to parties to the conflict in Yemen.

Answered on

8 October 2020

The UK supports the UN Group of Eminent Experts (GEE), which is an important mechanism for ensuring accountability and supporting the promotion and protection of human rights in Yemen. We supported resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council to establish the GEE in 2017 and to renew its mandate in 2018 and 2019. The UK is deeply concerned by the allegations in the GEE's latest report. The UK calls on all the parties to the conflict to engage constructively with the GEE, investigate these allegations, protect human rights and comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law. The Government takes its export responsibilities extremely seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Yemen is a human rights priority country for the UK. In the latest Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office human rights report, we highlighted our concerns over women's rights including girls' education, the recruitment of child soldiers, arbitrary detention, and attacks on freedom of religion or belief and on freedom of speech and association.