Children and armed conflict in Yemen - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2021/761) [EN/AR]



The present report, the third on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen, has been prepared pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005). It contains information on the six grave violations committed against children by parties to the conflict in Yemen in the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020, with details on perpetrators and the context in which the violations were committed, when available. It also contains information on the progress made in addressing grave violations against children, including through the implementation of action plans. Lastly, the report provides recommendations to end and prevent grave violations against children in Yemen and improve their protection.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report, which covers the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020, has been submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict. It is the third report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in Yemen. It documents trends and patterns of grave violations against children since the previous report (S/2019/453) and the adoption by the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict of its conclusions on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen (S/AC.51/2020/1). It also outlines challenges and progress in addressing grave violations and contains specific recommendations to strengthen the protection of children. Where possible, the report identifies parties to conflict responsible for grave violations against children. In that regard, the government forces of Yemen, including the Yemeni armed forces, were listed for the recruitment and use of children under section B of annex I to the most recent report on children and armed conflict (A/75/873-S/2021/437) as a party that had put in place measures aimed at improving the protection of children. The Houthis (who refer to themselves Ansar Allah) were listed for recruitment and use under section B, while also being listed under section A as a party that have not put in place measures to improve the protection of children, for killing and maiming and attacks on schools and hospitals. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, pro-government militias, including the Salafists and popular committees, and the Security Belt Forces were listed under section A.

  2. The United Nations country task force on monitoring and reporting continued to face significant challenges in monitoring and reporting grave violations against children in over 49 active frontline locations, including the governorates of Ma’rib, Hajjah, Sa‘dah, Ta‘izz and Hudaydah. It was often difficult to verify information owing to lack of access, security risks, fear, intimidation and threats, and related risks of being arrested and subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance. In some instances, staff of the member organizations of the country task force were detained by the Houthis and prevented from accessing key locations to collect information related to children associated with armed forces and groups.

  3. From March 2020 onward, the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and related restrictions further exacerbated existing challenges. Therefore, the information contained in the present report does not represent the full extent of grave violations committed in Yemen during the reporting period, and the actual number of grave violations is likely to be much higher.