United Nations Human Rights Council
28 September 2016
Item 10, General Debate, SG/HC report on Yemen
Joint oral statement by Save the Children, Action contre la Faim, CARE International, Oxfam and Premiere Urgence.
This statement is made on behalf of Save the Children and 4 INGOs that provide humanitarian assistance and support to vulnerable children and families in Yemen.
After eighteen months of conflict, ten million children are unable to access sufficient food, primary health care, education and other essential services. Over three million people have fled their homes because of ongoing conflict. Two out of three of those Yemenis forced to flee their homes have been displaced for 10 months or longer (1). The conflict has resulted in the deaths of over a thousand children, and at least another 1796 injured. Tens of thousands more live in fear of intensive ground fighting and airstrikes.
The armed conflict has resulted in an alarming increase in other grave violations against children by all parties to the armed conflict, including military recruitment and use of children and attacks on schools and hospitals as documented in the UN Secretary-General's 2016 Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict. Further child casualties, attacks on schools and hospitals and other grave violations against children have been recorded throughout 2016.
Numerous other allegations concerning possible violations of international law have been documented in the High Commissioner's recent report, as well by the UN's Panel of Experts to the Security Council Sanctions Committee, and by credible international human rights organisations.
We welcome continued efforts to secure peace but it is imperative that the international community uses its influence to ensure all parties to the armed conflict act in compliance with obligations under international law.
Therefore we urge the Council to adopt a new resolution mandating an international independent body under the auspices of the UN to carry out comprehensive investigations into allegations of violations of international law by all parties to the conflict as an urgently needed step to hold those responsible for violations to account, and to deter future violations.
(1) According to Oxfam's survey, "Picking Up the Piece", September 2016.