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Yemen Pressures Houthis to Ban Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Yemen Pressures Houthis to Ban Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Thursday, 20 February, 2020 - 08:30
A Houthi militant in Sanaa, Yemen. Reuters file photo
Riyadh - Mohammed Al-Ayed

Yemen will continue efforts to protect children's rights and confront Houthi violations in Yemen by all means, Yemeni Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar has announced.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Askar said that this will be done in line with a plan agreed upon with UNICEF to protect children by deploying teams and ensuring military and security institutions in all liberated areas don’t recruit child soldiers.

On Tuesday, President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi prohibited any attempt by the armed and security forces to recruit children, based on Law No. 97 of 1991 regarding military service, and Law No. 45 of 2002 on children’s rights.

The government will continue to press Houthi militias to ban the recruitment of children in insurgent-run areas, indicated Askar. He praised the President’s efforts in establishing a new stage to protect minors.

In December 2018, the Minister signed a roadmap with the UN’s Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting to end child recruitment.

The President’s decision on Wednesday also included the establishment of the Child Protection Unit, which works in coordination with the Joint Technical Committee and civil society to receive and monitor complaints regarding violations of the recruitment and use of child soldiers on battlefronts.

Various military and security personnel will be trained on the principles and laws of child protection, and work to hand over child soldiers to civil organizations.

Hadi asserted that all military personnel or civilians, who participated or were part of a fraudulent attempt to commit the crime of child recruitment in the armed and security forces, will be referred to the Military Prosecution or the Public Prosecution for investigation.

He ordered colleges, institutes, and military academies to develop educational curricula on children’s rights and the risks of child recruitment.

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