Over the past year, Hampton boys, in collaboration with pupils from Reach Academy, Pimlico Academy and Tapton School (Sheffield), have surveyed 789 secondary school students and 82 teachers to discover what young people in Great Britain today know about the Holocaust and other recent genocides.

This week, pupils from the four schools travelled to Parliament to present a report on their findings to MPs and Cabinet officials.

The young campaigners explained that while many 11-16 year olds are aware of the Holocaust, 79 percent could not name any of the genocides that have occurred since the Second World War, including in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and Cambodia. The report also showed that 57% of the teachers asked do not teach about any other genocide aside from the Holocaust due to lack of time and resources.

The fact that pupils are unaware of these genocides also suggests that pupils are unaware that the same mistakes of the Holocaust have been repeated in recent history.

In their recommendations the pupils call upon the government to ensure that every school has an ‘expert’ teacher who is well trained in genocide and Holocaust education and that every student should receive five days of genocide education during their time at school. The action group also propose that pupils should be trained up to become experts in this field able to run memorial day activities for their peers. Furthermore, the report encourages the government to ensure that children can hear the testimonies of genocide survivors.

The MP for Twickenham, Dr Tania Mathias along with Stephen Twigg MP and Jeremy Lefroy MP both members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Genocide Precention,were among those who received the report from the students. Also present were genocide survivors including Eric Murangwa and representatives from several of the educational institutions working in this field.

“Young people should spread the word and never stop talking about it, so people can learn from the stories and carry on telling the story for generations, so that it cannot be forgotten.                           Sokphal Din, survivor of the genocide in Cambodia

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