Children and Armed Conflict in Yemen: Report of the Secretary General

The present report, submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the second report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen. The report, which is based on verified information on the six grave violations against children committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, covers the period from 1 April 2013 to 31 December 2018.

Children did not start the war in Yemen, but they are paying the highest price. Throughout the reporting period, children in Yemen suffered the consequences of being exposed to a horrific war. All parties to the conflict have obligations under international humanitarian and international human rights law to protect children. Yet, children were exposed to brutal violence in their homes, in schools, in hospitals, at community events and in playgrounds – all of which are places where they should be afforded protection.

The United Nations verified 11,779 grave violations against children in Yemen during the reporting period. Killing and maiming was the most prevalent violation, primarily as a result of airstrikes (47 percent of the total number of incidents) and ground fighting (40 percent). The recruitment and use of children remained considerably underreported, despite the high numbers of verified instances of their recruitment and use, primarily owing to security threats and the fear of retribution against monitors and communities. Schools and hospitals continued to be indiscriminately attacked and used for military purposes. Sexual violence also remained underreported owing to the stigmatization associated with that violation. Attacks against humanitarian facilities and personnel, as well as a lack of medical supplies, have been a constant characteristic of the conflict in Yemen.

The monitoring and reporting of grave violations against children remained severely constrained as a result of security threats and access restrictions, posing significant and progressively increasing challenges to the effective verification and reporting of grave violations against children in Yemen.

Published 2019-07-05

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