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 October, the Security Council will receive its monthly briefing on UNMHA, pursuant to SCR 2534 (2020). Briefing the Council in September, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock recalled the increasing risk of famine, described continuing obstacles to humanitarian access, and warned that deepening cuts to aid programming would be “a death sentence for many families.” In September, the UN Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts (GEE) on Yemen released its third report, in which it concludes that warring parties have committed acts that may amount to war crimes, including recruiting and using children under the age of 15 in active hostilities and indiscriminate attacks. The GEE also expressed concern at the de-listing of the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition from the SG’s annual report annexes in June, and emphasized “the need for the even application across all parties to the conflict in Yemen of the criteria defined by the UN Secretary-General in 2010 for the listing/de-listing process.” The Security Council should:

  • Strongly condemn the continuing violence, including grave violations against children; urge parties to commit to a full cessation of hostilities and 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;
  • Demand that all parties immediately cease hostilities to respond to the pandemic per SCR 2532 (2020), stop attacks on hospitals, education facilities, and other protected civilian infrastructure, and allow safe, unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to children and other civilians in need;
  • As recommended by the GEE, refer the situation in Yemen to the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for acts that may amount to war crimes, including recruitment and use of children below 15 in active hostilities; invite the GEE to brief the Council on its report;
  • 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 children within its ranks, and prioritize the establishment of age assessment mechanisms; urge all other listed parties to sign and implement timebound action plans to end and prevent grave violations;
  • 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 recent decision to remove the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition.

The United Kingdom is the lead country on Yemen. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the lead on the 2140 Sanctions Committee.

This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: October 2020.


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