Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Children Bid Farewell to Houthi Barricades, Return to Schools

Children Bid Farewell to Houthi Barricades, Return to Schools

Saturday, 30 December, 2017 - 08:15

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) held on Friday a ceremony to conclude the rehabilitation course for children who were recruited by Houthi militias in Taiz. The children are now returning to schools after they were recruited by militias to be part of the war waged by Houthis against the Yemeni people.

Parents, in their turn, lauded the efforts exerted by KSrelief to alleviate the children's suffering due to the ongoing crisis, especially the efforts to rehabilitate them through psychological, social and educational programs for the aim of reintegrating them in their society.

The ceremony was attended by Undersecretary of the Taiz governorate Abdel-Qawi al-Mekhlafi, and other officials from the civil society institutions. Mekhlafi lauded the initiative to rehabilitate the recruited children, expressing gratitude to KSrelief for bringing back innocence to those kids.

During the ceremony, an exhibition was held to present drawing skills and artworks made by the children.

Yemeni Media Observatory Director Hamdan al-Aly told Asharq AL-Awsat that “Houthis rely heavily on children in battles, this is why we see many of the military operations' casualties or captives are from children.” He noted that recruitment has escalated recently due to the death of several coup members. “So they recruited children through intimidating them or seducing them."

The rehabilitation project seeks to raise awareness among parents and the society on the risks of recruiting children, the legal responsibility of those who contribute to their recruitment, and the implications of child recruitment, whether on the child, family or community.

After finishing the course, the children join a follow-up program for four months.

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