Yemen’s Ambassador to the United Nations has accused Houthi militias of recruiting child soldiers, saying more than 30,000 children are at risk of death or their rights violated.
Abdullah Al-Saadi urged the United Nations Children’s Fund to review its monitoring mechanism of violations against children in Yemeni areas falling under the control of Houthis.
He said current data on the recruitment of child soldiers does not reflect the situation on the ground.
The ambassador was speaking at the first regular session of UNICEF’s Executive Board on Tuesday.
Al-Saadi said the Houthis have taken advantage of the dire economic and humanitarian conditions of Yemeni families, forcing them to put their children on battlefronts.
He stressed the importance of cooperation between the Yemeni government and UNICEF on a plan to end the use of children in conflicts.
He called for a roadmap to implement the plan that was struck between the government and the UN in 2014.
Al-Saadi lauded the role played by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) in funding rehabilitation centers for children in the Yemeni province of Marib.
He called on UNICEF to establish similar centers in liberated areas to help child soldiers to reintegrate in society.