Yemen: Rights Radar issued a human rights’ report on suffering of children during the four-year war
Rights Radar for Human Rights, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, said that the armed conflict in Yemen has resulted in killing and wounding of more than 6,700 children. Most of these children were targeted by the direct shelling and sniping, the mine explosion and explosive devices. In addition, they were killed in the fighting fronts or by the missile strikes.
It explained in its report entitled (Yemen: Hell of Childhood), Rights Radar places the responsibility for this war on three parties: the armed group of Ansar Allah (Houthis), the forces of their previous ally, former President Ali Saleh and the Arab Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia or the Yemeni Government forces.
The content and information of the report are based on field monitors, as well as official sources, particularly the international organizations concerned with children.
The report included the identification of the substantive framework based on the classification of the United Nations (2003) through a list of “six grave violations against the children’s rights during the armed conflicts”. These violations include killing or maiming of children, recruitment and use of them as soldiers, rape and other serious sexual abuse against children, attacks on schools or hospitals, in addition to the denial of humanitarian access to children and abducting them. This classification was issued according to the Security Council Resolution No. 1612 (2004).
The importance of this report is because it sheds light on one of the most important aspects of the Yemeni human tragedy embodied in the suffering of Yemen’s children as a result of the continuing armed conflict in the country. The reasons for the increase of the seriousness of the conflict are the prolonged period of war and the parties’ lack of commitment to the international criteria for preserving the human dignity.
The report reveals that this war has caused more than 2 million children not to go to their schools and some of these children have been recruited and used in the military concentration during the armed conflict since March 2015.
On the humanitarian side, there are more than 8.2 million children who are in need of the humanitarian aid, including access to food, medicine and clean drinking water.
According to the data and statistics obtained by Rights Radar, more than 1604 children were killed during the period from 2014 to 2018. The armed group of Ansar Allah (Houthis) bears the responsibility for 65% of the total number of these victims who were killed by the direct sniping, missile strikes, mine explosion or recruiting them as soldiers.
The Saudi-led Arab Coalition is responsible for killing 27% of the children. They were killed by the air strikes because many of these strikes did not take into account the inviolability of civilians during wartime.
Rights Radar’s report has monitored that the parties of the armed conflict in Yemen recruited more than 3451 children who were under the age of 18 during the period from 2014 to the end of 2018.
The report put the responsibility of the abduction of 469 children on the Houthi Group, as well as the use of hundreds of children as human shields in some cases because this made them exposed to death by the air raids of the Saudi Coalition.
During the period from September, 21 2014 to September, 21 2018, the Organization monitored about 487 cases of abduction, arrest and concealment of children who were under the legal age, including about 469 violations committed by the Houthi Group and its ally, Saleh forces. There were 13 cases of arrests of children whose ages ranged from sixteen to eighteen committed by the Yemeni Government authorities. There were also 5 cases that were recorded against unknown parties, as well as 19 cases of torture of children in the camps of the Houthis and their ally Saleh.
The report included information and data that revealed the extent of the violations faced by the Yemeni children and the hell of life that they suffered from. This means that they pay dearly due to the continuation of this war.
The report of (Yemen: Hell of Childhood) called on the conflict parties in Yemen represented by the Houthi armed group, the Saudi-led Coalition and the Yemeni Government to end the repeated violations against children’s rights targeting the populated areas and stop the recruitment or placement of children in the fighting fronts and the abduction of them to be used as hostages.
It also called for ensuring the humanitarian access to war-affected people in the areas that are under the control of these parties, not delaying the issuance of travel permits for the humanitarian convoys and not hindering or stopping the humanitarian aid or using them for blackmailing families in order to recruit their children.
Rights Radar’s recommendations also included calling on the United Nations and the international community to put pressure on the various parties of the armed conflict in Yemen to spare children the scourge of war and keep them away from targeting by any form of violations. It also called on the humanitarian organizations and the United Nations agencies in Yemen to intensify their activities in the various Yemeni areas to contribute to addressing the effects of the war on children.