The International Day Against the Use of Children as Soldiers in Armed Conflicts is coming, and Yemen is still one of the hotbeds of conflict in the world for child recruitment, with the Houthi group establishing several training camps in areas under its control that attract children under the age of eighteen before sending them to the front lines of combat in a grave violation of their rights.
Recently, with the beginning of the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, the Houthi group is exploiting popular sympathy for the events in Gaza and is creating mobilization centers under the pretext of jihad in Palestine and breaking the siege of Gaza, and most of those who respond to it are children and teenagers.
The Houthi group are considered the party that recruits the most children, according to the organization’s reports issued during the last period, and the group have not shown – until today – any commitment to the action plan that it concluded with UNICEF in April 2022, under which it pledged to stop recruiting children and to identify those recruited into its ranks and demobilize them, and at the same time The United Nations itself has not issued an official written evaluation revealing the level of implementation.
During the war in Yemen from 2014 until the end of 2023, the Mayyun organization monitored the killing of 7,020 children who were used as soldiers on the front lines of the canal, security points, cooking, transporting supplies, spying, reconnaissance, and military media photographers.
The Houthi group are responsible for recruiting 7,000 children, while the internationally recognized government forces are responsible for recruiting 20 children out of the total number of recruitment.
Mayyun urges all parties in Yemen, especially the Houthi group, to immediately stop recruiting children, demobilize underage recruits, implement UN action plans, and not use them as a cosmetic façade to carry out further violations against children.
Issued by Mayyun Organization for Human Rights
February 12, 2024