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Houthis Accused of Committing Thousands of Children’s Rights Violations

Houthis Accused of Committing Thousands of Children’s Rights Violations

Sunday, 22 November, 2020 - 10:30
A Yemeni child carrying a weapon during a gathering in Sanaa (Getty Images)

At a time when dangers threatening Yemeni children are escalating, in terms of pandemics, malnutrition, and deprivation of education, government reports have accused Iran-backed Houthi militias of committing thousands of children's rights violations that included torture and forced recruitment.

The Yemeni government’s Sanaa-based human rights office documented 24,488 children’s rights violations in the Houthi-run city between November 2019 and November 2020.

“Militia violations against children included murder, kidnapping, physical assault, forced recruitment, looting and storming of health and educational institutions, and the establishment of sectarian activities and events,” said the director of the Sanaa human rights office, Fahmi al-Zubairi.

Zubairi urged the international community and organizations to take a serious stance on protecting Yemeni children from gross violations carried out by Houthi militias.

Last Friday, the National Committee to Investigate Human Rights Violations (NCHRV) concluded closed hearing sessions with victim children on major violations of the six human rights during armed disputes.

NCHRV member Ishraq al-Maqtari, in official statements, said that the committee commenced its sessions early this November and listened to 12 children who are victims of torture, disfigurement, rape, kidnapping and recruitment.

The committee also listened to the children’s parents, said al-Maqtari, pointing out that the sessions included testimonies from children and their relatives on details of violation incidents and perpetrators and the testimonies unearthed the violations and names and bodies standing behind them.

Maqtari said that since last November, the committee has investigated 661 cases of children who were victims of bombings, mutilation, mine explosions, forced recruitment, torture, and sexual violence.

She also verified that investigative mechanisms pursued by NCHRV are designed to reach the truth and to analyze patterns of human rights violations that encroached on the basic rights of children.

Maqtari expressed deep concern about the scale of violations and abuses that children suffer in Yemen and called on all warring parties in Yemen to immediately cease all violations of international laws.

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