In an annual report to the Security Council published on Saturday, January 29, 2022, UN Group of Eminent Regional and International Expert on Yemen stated that 562 children recruited by the Houthi group were killed while fighting in Yemen over the past five months of the past year.
The UN team, consisting of three experts, said they have received a list of 562 children recruited by the Houthis, over 5 months of last year 2021, who died in the battles.”
The report added that the team documented cases of the Houthis threatening families benefiting from humanitarian aid, to remove their names from the list of beneficiaries, should they refuse to let their refused to allow their children to join their forces, adding that the Houthis are obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid in areas under their control, and putting obstacles to aid organisations, thus besieging the people.
All parties to the conflict violate the international humanitarian law and international human rights law by escaping punishment, due to the weakness and failure of the judiciary system to carry out its work, the statement added.
Ted Chaiban, the Regional Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the Middle East and North Africa has issued a statement recently stating that they have documented the killing of 17 children in Yemen over the first 22 days of this year, due the war that has been taking place for nearly seven years.
The statement added that the number of children killed in Yemen since the beginning of this year is nearly double the number of last December.
The statement also stressed that “Children in Yemen are the first to pay the price of the most brutal armed conflicts in modern history that has been ongoing for seven years.”
UNICEF called on “all parties to the conflict in Yemen, and those who have influence over them, to protect civilians, including children, at all times,” and “to protect civilian areas and civilian infrastructure, including educational and medical facilities, and not to target them.”
For nearly seven years, Yemen has been witnessing an ongoing war between the pro-government forces backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have controlled several governorates in Yemen, including Sanaa, since September 2014.