Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development issues its report “Yemeni Children.. Little Warriors on the Battlefront”

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Press Release


Today, Tuesday, 19/3/2024, the Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development issues its report “Yemeni Children.. Little Warriors on the Battlefront”, which monitors the Houthis’ forced recruitment of children, their involvement in the Battlefronts, and the grave violations to which Yemeni children are exposed to that requires investigating these violations and punishing the perpetrators because of their catastrophic consequences on Yemeni society.

The report points out the Houthi group recruits children and forces them to fight in its ranks, using various methods to attract children, such as exploiting the living conditions of their families, indoctrination, controlling educational and religious institutions, and using summer centers to recruit children, as well as use abduction and pressure on tribal leaders.
The two most prominent means of recruitment are the regular school with its modifications of the curricula and teachers’ attitudes and its exploitation of the conditions of learners, and the summer centers, which represent a real “laundry” for children’s minds.

The report emphasizes that the summer centers are destroying children’s minds, where their minds are filled with jihad ideology, stoking a culture of violence, and glorifying fighting and the group’s sectarian ideas. Moreover, these centers depend on sectarian and military expansion and changing the identity of society through intellectual and cultural bulldozing, and their focus on children begins from summer centers for easy reception of mined ideas that call for murder, violence, and the infidelity of others.
The report also refers to dropping out of education as the most important direct negative effect of child recruitment, in addition, recruitment results in intellectual and behavioral changes that affect children’s vision of the future, their dealings with the family and the local community, and the expansion of the scope of carrying weapons in society.
Moreover, the report also presents some testimonies of children who were recruited and sent to war on the battlefronts, which constitutes a crime against children, as it deprived them of their right to education, and exposed them to the worst forms of child labor.
Child recruitment remains a major dilemma in the ongoing conflict, as the economic situation of families is exploited and educational institutions are mobilized to attract children to combat camps.

For this purpose, the Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development recommends the following:
• Take action against Houthi militias, including countering advanced smuggled weapons and establishing a regulation banning the types of civilian materials used in the manufacture of missiles, and drones.
• The need for a Security Council resolution to stop using social institutions by militias.
• All violations against children, including killing and maiming of children, child recruitment, sexual violence, abduction, and obstruction of humanitarian access must be stopped immediately
• The UN and the international community must end impunity for violations committed, engage local civil society organizations and victims of human rights violations, and call for the establishment of an international investigative team to investigate, collect evidence, and monitor all human rights violations in Yemen, including grave violations against children, to ensure accountability.
• A comprehensive plan must be put to ensure that all children are currently enrolled in school, especially marginalized and at-risk children, and prioritize the protection and rehabilitation of schools.
• All recruitment of child soldiers, demobilization of children involved in conflict, and reintegration through protection programs must be ensured. In addition, Civil society organizations and protection agencies must also access all military and security sites to monitor the conditions of detained children, release them, and return them to their families.

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