November 22, 2023
Article Cited from Human Rights Center
The HRRC joins with the Human Rights Center and the United Nations in urging the prioritization of child protection and an end to the recruitment of child soldiers in the Yemen conflict.
On International Children's Day, 43 organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have urged the parties involved in the Yemen conflict, the UN, and the international community to prioritize the protection of children during ongoing peace talks. The joint statement, released on November 20, 2023, emphasizes the need for justice and accountability for the numerous violations against Yemeni children. Human Rights Watch, along with other organizations, has documented grave human rights violations, including child recruitment, killing, maiming, attacks on schools and hospitals, sexual violence, and hindrance of humanitarian aid. The majority of these documented cases are attributed to the Houthis, the de facto authority in much of Yemen. Despite a previous agreement with the UN to end child recruitment, the Houthis persist in recruiting children for military purposes.
The conflict, ongoing since 2014, has seen massive violations against children, including indiscriminate attacks causing thousands of child casualties. The Saudi and UAE-led coalition, involved at the behest of the Yemeni government, has conducted over 25,000 airstrikes, often causing indiscriminate and disproportionate destruction of schools and hospitals. The statement calls for accountability for violations against children, stressing that any peace deal must include protections for children and address the atrocities committed over the past nine years.