In June, the Secretary-General’s (SG) second report on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen was formally presented to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. Six parties are listed for grave violations against children in Yemen. Children have borne the brunt of the conflict, UNICEF reporting at least 7,300 child casualties since March 2015. The Saudi- and Emirati-Led Coalition (SELC) has been responsible for the greatest number of child casualties, carrying out numerous airstrikes in violation of the laws of war without adequate follow-up investigations, and placing arms suppliers at risk of complicity in war crimes. The second greatest number of child casualties has been attributed to the Houthis, who have used landmines and indiscriminate weapons in civilian areas and targeted civilian infrastructure. On June 17, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley briefed the Security Council on the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, reporting that food assistance was being diverted in areas controlled by the Houthis, and on June 20, WFP partially suspended operations in areas under Houthi control.

The Working Group should:

  • Condemn in the strongest terms all grave violations and abuses committed against children, and urge all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all violations of applicable international law, including the six grave violations;
  • Call upon the Government of Yemen to implement fully and without delay the December 2018 roadmap aimed at revitalizing its action plan to end and prevent child recruitment and use, immediately release all those within its ranks, and prioritize the establishment of age assessment mechanisms;
  • Urge all other listed parties, including the Houthis and the SELC, to sign and implement time-bound action plans to end and prevent grave violations, as the only path towards delisting from the annexes of the SG’s annual report on children and armed conflict;
  • Express concern at the high number of child casualties, especially as a result of aerial attacks and ground fighting, and demand that all parties immediately take actions to protect children, including by ceasing all military operations in civilian areas and protected facilities such as schools and hospitals;
  • Demand that all parties facilitate the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to children and other civilians in need;
  • Call on the SG to list all parties that deserve so in Section A of the annexes of his annual report for all relevant violations, including the SELC for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Yemen. Peru chairs the 2140 Sanctions Committee.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: July 2019.


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