Houthis take children from schools to warfronts

Houthis take children from schools to warfronts

Alsahwa Net- In the sidelines of the 42nd Session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, a group of Yemeni human rights defenders have shared some of children’s plight in Yemen.

The most serious issue that threatens childhood in Yemen is the continuous military recruitment of children by the Iran-backed Houthis, according to three human rights activists who spoke in a symposium organized by Union of Foreign Communities on the issue.

Until now, the Houthis have recruited over than 18,000 children, according to Arwa Al-Khatabi, a Yemeni female human rights activist.

Al-Khatabi explained that military recruitment has been the main cause of death of nearly 6,000 children since the fighting broke out early 2015.

She added that the Houthis often recruit children from public schools and study centers.

Tribal leaders are the coordinators of children military recruitment who do it for obtaining money or public posts from the Houthis de facto authority, according to Al-Khatabi. 

Ironically, the Minster of Education in the Houthis unrecognized cabinet, is the Houthis’ leader’s brother, Yahya Al-Houthi, who never enrolled in any school during his childhood and has not obtained any academic certificate, Hamdan Al-Ali, a journalist and child rights defender, said.

He indicated the Houthis are now governing the public education in their areas according to their own sectarian ideology whereby they disseminate the extremist Shiite ideology among the school children.

Consequently, the Houthis’ management of the public education led to growing number of child soldiers, Al-Ali said.

He added that promotion of the Houthis extremist ideology in schools is going to have long-term bad impact on Yemen as the country is going to see new extremist generation.   

Al-Khatabi demanded the international community to force the Houthis to stop children military recruitment and support creation of rehabilitation centers to provide psychological and medical care to children who were exposed to violence.

She added that public education and schools must be distant from any use other than learning and study.

 

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