The day after launching its Centenary campaign to Stop the War on Children, Save the Children is demanding a firm commitment from political parties to act if elected on May 18.
With the Federal Election less than two weeks away, Save the Children believes Australians should know where the parties stand on important issues like exporting Australian made weapons to countries accused of war crimes against children.
The attached letter was sent to Australian Labor, The Liberals, The Nationals, The Greens, Centre Alliance, One Nation, United Australia Party, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Australian Conservatives, Katter’s Australia Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.
The letter asks the campaigns to outline their position and commit to the following actions:
- Immediately stop the export of Australian made weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – countries accused by the UN of committing war crimes against children in Yemen.
- Immediately repatriate children of Australian foreign fighters in North East Syria – children should not be punished for the decisions of their parents.
- Immediately press for international action to ensure perpetrators of crimes against Rohingya children are held to account.
On Sunday, Save the Children launched the Stop the War on Children campaign to highlight the increasing number of children around the world – 1 in 5 – living in conflict, and what governments can do to reduce that shocking statistic.
“There is a lot more that responsible governments around the world, including Australia, can do to protect children in conflict. However, it requires strong leadership and a commitment from Australian political parties to act,” Save the Children Acting CEO Mat Tinkler said.
“The nature of conflict is changing. War is becoming more protracted, more urban, and increasingly, international rules and norms are being disregarded.
“As a result, more children are suffering the horrific consequences of wars waged by adults. That’s why we are urging the political parties seeking votes on May 18 to help stop the war on children, starting with these three immediate actions.”
As part of the campaign launch, Save the Children created a bombed-out classroom scene in Melbourne’s Fawkner Park. In a colourful show of support, dozens of children put their handprints on pieces of paper, which were pinned to the military tank, forming the centerpiece of the installation.
To find out more about Save the Children’s global Centenary campaign to Stop the War on Children visit www.stopthewaronchildren.org.au.
For interviews contact Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.