Yemen’s Moyyun Organization for Human Rights and Development (MHRD) has launched its first human rights report on the victims of child recruitment in Yemen, entitled “Children .. Not Guns”, which is the first of its human rights reports, including important information, shocking numbers and statistics, names, photos and videos of the child soldiers who were killed during the first half of the year 2021, which shows the extent of violations against children in Yemen.
(MHRD) revealed in the first reports of its field activities that (640) Yemeni children were killed during the first six months of this year 2021, their ages ranged between (13-17 years), who were recruited by the Houthi group, including 13 children in the so-called “military media”, who all took part in public burial processions that were broadcast through the Houthi official media, after they were pushed into the combat, in flagrant violation of international covenants, national laws, obligations and commitments, and in a clear rejection of international calls that repeatedly demand the parties to the conflict to stop the immediate recruitment of children in Yemen.
The Organization has sounded alarm by identifying the affected Yemeni governorates with the number of victims of child soldiers, and according to field data, the governorates of Sana’a, Dhamar and Hajjah topped the list, with the death of (333) children during the first six months of this year 2021, out of a total of (15) governorates covered in monitoring. Not to mention the dead, whose names have not been announced, while the estimated number of wounded (3,400) children, according to information from hospitals in the capital and the governorates under the control of the Houthis.
A decline was also observed in the number of child soldiers who were recruited from Saada Governorate, to the sixth rank compared to the victims of children in 2020.
The report included a list of the names of the most prominent leaders of the Houthis involved in recruiting children. The organization documented, through a field monitoring team in the capital Sana’a and the governorates under their control, the involvement of 125 leaders in child recruitment, led by Yahya Badr El-Din Al-Houthi, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi and Mohammed Badr El-Din Al-Houthi, Abd Al-Karim Amir El-Din Al-Houthi, Abd Al-Majid Al-Houthi, Ahmed Dirhem Al-Mu’aydi, Ahmad Mohammed Hamid, Abdo Al-Muhsin Al-Tawoos, and Dhaif Allah Rassam. The organization also revealed the names of (22) entities also involved in child recruitment in Houthi-controlled areas.
(MHRD) also documented that the Houthi group awarded military ranks between colonel and second lieutenant to 155 children out of the total number of victims killed during the first six months of this year.
The report indicated that the Houthis are recruiting children, cultural courses, schools and institutes, mosques, summer centers, orphanages and through kidnappings, as well as the requirement of the Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation to provide humanitarian aid to those eligible in exchange for the recruitment of their children.
It indicated that the Houthis are forcing children to carry out tasks such as direct combat, transporting supplies and gathering information, planting mines, driving cars and motorcycles, building fortifications and trenches, escorting leaders and supervisors, as well as working at checkpoints. They were killed or captured, and injured with permanent disabilities.
The Head of (MHRD) organization, Abdu Ali Al Hodhifi, said that “the Yemeni children are the weakest segment of society, and therefore they are paying a heavy price as a result of the continuation of the war”.
“Family disintegration, school dropouts, the spread of child labor and other phenomena, unfortunately, are no longer the most dangerous for children in Yemen, rather than the war has become a fertile environment for committing the most blatant and flagrant violations against them”. He added.
“The report included many recommendations calling the international community for more pressure on the Yemeni parties violating the rights of children, as well as recommendations to refer the file of child recruitment to the
International Criminal Court”.