Childrens hands all together in Gaza.

Why Parliament’s ceasefire vote is not good enough

Rocco Blume, Global Head of Advocacy for War Child, reflects on a chaotic night and a missed opportunity in the House of Commons.

On 21 February, the UK parliament voted for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the rapid and unimpeded humanitarian relief to be allowed into Gaza Strip. Officially, this marks a significant shift in the UK’s position.

However, the motion passed was weaker than it needed to be, failing to refer to collective punishment of the Palestinian people, which amounts to a war crime. And while any vote in favour of a ceasefire is a welcome development, by the time the vote took place, most MPs from the governing Conservative party had stormed out, and MPs from the Scottish National Party – who had brought the vote on a ceasefire about – were in uproar, believing that a failure to follow parliamentary procedure had resulted in the wording of their initial ceasefire call being watered down.

This chaos undermines the validity of the ceasefire call, and drew attention away from the most important issue - keeping the civilians of Gaza and the need to prevent further death and destruction at the centre.


What happens now?

We know that thousands of War Child supporters took action ahead of the vote, contacting their MPs to encourage them to support a ceasefire. It was an amazing effort that we are so grateful for – and that’s what we need to continue.

We need to tell MPs, the Conservative government and the Labour opposition, that what happened on 21 February isn't good enough. We need to keep asking them to call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and detainees safe access to aid, the end of weapons sales, and for Israel and Palestinian armed groups to be held accountable as they continue to violate international law and child rights.

Currently, over half a million children are sheltering in Rafah, where the imminent threat of military action will have catastrophic consequences. Although the International Court of Justice ruling mandated Israel to take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance in Gaza, this has not taken place and the situation continues to deteriorate. A ceasefire is more urgent than ever – and parliament’s vote on 21 February, discredited by the surrounding chaos, is not enough.



This war on children MUST stop. Find how you can make your voice heard and call for a #ceasefireNOW.