Learn the lessons of genocide

04 November 2015

The London Assembly today urged the UK to continue its commemoration and condemnation of global genocide.

Assembly Members agreed a unanimous motion asking the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London’s Boroughs to sustain their efforts to raise awareness of past atrocities such as the Holocaust and the Armenian, Bosnian, Cambodian, Darfur and Rwandan genocides.

Jennette Arnold OBE AM, who proposed the motion said:

“It’s a tragedy that we continue to live in a world where some people still fear persecution because of their race, ethnicity or religion. If we’re serious about laying down the foundations for peaceful societies then we have to learn the lessons of the past.

Holocaust Memorial Day ensures that the horrors of this genocide, and others, are never forgotten. It’s absolutely vital that we teach our children about the Holocaust in the hope that future generations can continue the pursuit of harmony and never have to face the terror of genocide.”

Tony Arbour AM, who seconded the motion said: 

“It is extremely important that we remember all acts of genocide and the human suffering these events have caused. Holocaust Memorial Day presents an opportunity for us to educate school pupils about this and other such atrocities.”

The full text of the Motion is:

This Assembly notes that approximately 6 million people were killed during the Holocaust, including 1.5 million Jewish children. Since the Holocaust, other genocides such as the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 have killed millions of people. Even now, people all over the world live in fear of being killed due to their race, ethnicity, religion, culture, or nationality. 

This Assembly is proud that the UK has always played a major role in ensuring that the Holocaust is never forgotten. Holocaust Memorial Day has taken place in the UK since 2001, with a UK event and over 3,600 local activities taking place on or around 27 January each year. The Holocaust Educational Trust has taken thousands of UK students to visit former-concentration camps, in order to teach them the lessons of the Holocaust.

This Assembly believes that Holocaust Memorial Day should continue to be commemorated in the UK. Children should be encouraged and enabled to actively promote the lessons learnt from the Holocaust and other genocides. Efforts of schools across London to raise awareness, such as the Hampton School in Richmond, where pupils promoted the issue on social media using the hashtag #genocideknowmore, should be encouraged and applauded.

This Assembly also believes that the Greater London Authority and London’s Boroughs should continue to work with local schools, charities, and other stakeholder organisations to promote understanding of this important issue, to ensure that the Holocaust, and other Genocides, are remembered through the generations.

Notes to editors


  1. The motion was agreed unanimously.
  2. The full webcast will be available shortly.
  3. Jennette Arnold OBE AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.