The Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces are listed for killing and maiming of children in Yemen, while Yemeni Government Forces are listed for recruitment and use. Four non-State armed groups are listed for recruitment and use; of these, the Houthis/Ansar Allah are also listed for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals. In November, the SG will report to the Council on the implementation of SCR 2201 (2015), on the political situation in Yemen. Aerial strikes by the Saudi-led coalition and the use of indiscriminate weapons by the Houthis continue to raise serious concerns for the protection of civilians, including children. On August 9, coalition forces dropped a bomb on a school bus, killing at least 40 children. Most recently, on October 24, a coalition airstrike hit a vegetable market, reportedly killing 19 civilians, including two children. In addition to the use of weapons with wide area effect in urban areas, Houthi snipers have killed children in their homes and communities. On October 23, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock briefed the Security Council, highlighting the dire effects on civilians of the denial of humanitarian access and the blockade of commercial goods. Lowcock warned that Yemen is in grave danger of an imminent famine, with 14 million people – half the total population – at risk of becoming severely food insecure. He also warned that the Government’s expanding restrictions on the import of essential commodities, including food and fuel, could be a death knell for countless civilians, including children.

The UN Security Council should:

  • Strongly reiterate its call for an independent, transparent, and credible investigation into the August 9 school bus bombing in Saada Province, for which the coalition admitted culpability and “mistakes,” and urge the Saudi-led coalition to take clear and effective preventive and remedial measures to prevent future incidents and to hold those responsible for the killing and maiming of children accountable;
  • Request a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC), given the importance of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) in international accountability;
  • Promptly adopt a resolution condemning violations of international law perpetrated by all parties to conflict in Yemen, especially the targeting of civilians and grave violations against children, highlighting the principles of precaution, distinction, and proportionality in conducting military operations;
  • Urge for the immediate signing and implementation of an action plan between the UN and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the coalition, to end and prevent grave violations for which the coalition is listed, and to this end, urge the SG to transparently outline concrete measures it is taking to protect children;
  • Call upon the Saudi-led coalition and Government of Yemen to immediately and fully lift restrictions on essential commodities; for these and all parties, including the Houthis, to allow unimpeded humanitarian access and commercial imports to all regions, particularly fuel, food, and medical supplies; and to reopen the Sana’a airport to commercial flights, especially to allow medical evacuations; furthermore, include in the sanctions regime those responsible for obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid and crucial commercial imports to and within Yemen;
  • Call on parties to immediately put in place a humanitarian ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities in and around all infrastructure and facilities on which aid operations and commercial importers rely, and agree on steps to a nationwide ceasefire;
  • Encourage all parties to fully and transparently cooperate with the Human Rights Council-mandated Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts;
  • Call on Yemeni Government Forces to work closely with the UN to update and promptly implement their 2014 action plan to end and prevent child recruitment and use; and strongly urge all other parties to conflict to engage with the UN to develop and implement action plans to address grave violations for which they have been listed in the annexes of the SG’s annual report on children and armed conflict.


This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: November 2018.


UN Action

Year listed: 2011
Action Plans signed: Yemen Armed Forces – recruitment and use of children (May 2014)
Sanctions Committee2140 Sanctions Committee (Yemen)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Yemen: 2013
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Yemen: 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