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

Yemen Discusses Children Recruitment Before Human Rights Council

Yemen Discusses Children Recruitment Before Human Rights Council

Tuesday, 24 September, 2019 - 07:45
Boys attend a pro-Houthi tribal gathering in Sanaa, Yemen (Reuters)

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights submitted to the Human Rights Council in Geneva the files of more than 30,000 children recruited on the front lines by Houthi militias.

Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar said that the ministry had documented the names of over 30 thousand children recruited by the Houthis, which he described as a “destruction of the present and future of Yemen,” warning that its consequences are “catastrophic.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, Askar explained the process of recruiting children in Yemen, where they are tempted with financial rewards exploiting the need of children and their families for money.

He pointed out that Houthis aim to brainwash children and create a more radical and violent generation after taking them from schools to barricades.

Hasna al-Bashiri, together with her two children, attended the Human Rights Council in Geneva and explained the Houthi threat to Yemen's children.

Bashiri told Asharq Al-Awsat that instead of finding health care and educational opportunities to build their homeland and move towards world peace, the children are learning how to handle guns.

A group of women briefed Chair of the UN NGO Committee Astrid Stuckelberger on the situation and showcased several images of dead children and others carrying guns inside their classrooms in Saada.

Stuckelberger spoke with Asharq Al-Awsat and described the scenes as horrible, wondering if raising children on hatred was humanitarian.

She stressed that kids carrying arms was contrary to human nature and that societies can only grow with their children.

Such children had a bright future to serve their families first and then their homeland, Stuckelberger said, adding that the images she saw were terrible.

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