Government forces, including Yemeni armed forces, and four non-State armed groups are listed for violations against children in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) 2020 annual report on children and armed conflict (CAAC). In January, the Security Council will receive its monthly briefing on the implementation of Resolutions 2534 (2020) and 2451 (2018). A food insecurity assessment released in December warned that 16.2 million people, including 7.35 million children, could face high levels of acute food insecurity by June 2021, leaving over 20,000 children at risk of falling into famine. UNICEF has warned that famine-like conditions have already begun for some children. The Council has expressed alarm at this assessment, calling on donors to urgently disburse outstanding pledges and urging all parties to facilitate full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access. The Council also strongly condemned military escalation in Yemen, called for implementation of the global ceasefire appeal detailed in SCR 2532 (2020), and reiterated the need to protect children and uphold obligations under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). In just three days in late November, 11 children – including a one-month-old baby – were reported killed and three others injured, in two separate attacks. The Security Council should:

  • Reiterate its strong condemnation of escalating violence, including violations against children, and its demand for a general and immediate cessation of hostilities, in line with the SG’s appeal for a global ceasefire, per SCR 2532 (2020), respect for IHL, and full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access;
  • Urge parties to work towards a comprehensive and inclusive peace process that includes meaningful child participation and protection measures, pursuant to SCR 2427 (2018) and drawing on the 2020 Practical Guidance for Mediators;
  • As recommended by the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts (GEE), refer the situation in Yemen to the ICC to ensure accountability for acts that may amount to war crimes, and invite the GEE to brief the Council;
  • Call on all parties to swiftly and fully implement the recommendations of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, as elaborated in its second conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen, in particular the need for parties to sign and fully implement action plans with the UN to address and prevent grave violations of children’s rights;
  • Call for an impartial, transparent, and objective assessment, which includes meaningful consultation with civil society and other stakeholders, of how the SG applied the criteria for de-listing as set forth in the 2010 annual report (A/73/907-S/2010/181), pursuant to SCR 1882 (2009), in his decision to remove the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition from the annexes of his 2020 annual report.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Yemen.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: January 2021.


UN Action

Year listed: 2011
Action Plans signed: Yemen Armed Forces – recruitment and use of children (May 2014)
Sanctions Committee: 2140 Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Yemen:  2019; 2013
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Yemen: 2020; 2013

Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict

2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Al-Houthi/Ansar Allah* a a a a a,b,d a,b,d
Pro-Government militias, including the Salafists and Popular Committees* a a a a a a a
Breakaway First Armoured Division (FAD) a
Yemeni armed forces (YAF)~ a a a a
Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula (AQIP) a a a a
Ansar al-Sharia* a a a a a
Government forces, including the Yemeni Armed Forces, the First Armoured Division, the Military Police, the special security forces and Republican Guards ~ * a a a a a
Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia** b,d

a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children

d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children

~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.
**First listed as the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals in the 2016 report but removed on 24 June 2016 per addendum A/70/836/ADD.1-S/2016/360/ADD.1