- November 22, 2022
- Posted by: strategia
- Category: Humanitarian News
Children in Yemen are demanding warring parties recommit to preventing attacks and violence against civilians this World Children’s Day, as the conflict escalates with an average of one child killed or injured every day this year, Save the Children said.
Children from Taiz told Save the Children that since the six-month UN-led truce ended this October, they constantly fear for their lives when they are playing outside or walking to school, and safety is their most pressing concern.
“Before the truce, our minds would always be on high alert, imagining that a shell might fall at any second,” said Diana,* 14, from Taiz.
“We never felt safe. However, during the truce, we felt safe going out and playing as well as going to school and studying. We knew nothing would happen because there is a truce.”
Despite the positive gains made for children during the nationwide truce, more than 330 Yemeni children have been killed or injured in the war so far this year.
On Friday, world leaders signed a historic declaration to impose limits on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas to reduce civilian harm and to provide assistance to victims and affected communities.
The conflict in Yemen has been characterized by the intense use of explosive weapons, including thousands of air strikes, artillery and mortar shells, as well as landmines and other explosive ordnance. These types of tactics have caused unspeakable harm to children, resulting in deaths, injuries, lifelong disabilities, and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
“A mortar shell killed one of my relatives. There is no safety in our world. We are fearful at school, fearful at the hospital. Everything is surrounded by fear,” said Ruba,* 17, from Taiz. “No matter what we do, we are frightened. We cannot play, study, or go out without fear. We always worry about falling shells or shooting erupting, we’re never safe.”
Save the Children organized hearing sessions with children across Yemen, including Ruba and Diana, to mark World Children’s Day on November 20. Children attending the workshop in Taiz are calling for the following three recommendations to be considered by decision-makers and humanitarian actors to ensure Yemen becomes a better place for children:
- To prioritize protecting children from violence and abuse.
- Ensure schools and hospitals are protected from attacks.
- Mediate a nationwide extended truce that paves the way to lasting peace.
Save the Children’s Country Director for Yemen, Rama Hansraj, said:
“Our teams in Yemen regularly meet children who have been robbed of their childhood and their fundamental right to life. Children are killed, maimed, abused, and forced to worry about survival in Yemen every single day.
“There can never be a justification for killing or abusing children, and the world must act now to stop the impunity for these crimes. Yemen’s future depends on its children, and their safety and well-being are the true indicators of peace and stability. We must listen to the voices of children like Ruba and Diana and work alongside them to invest fully in shaping a better tomorrow.”
Save the Children has been working in Yemen since 1963, implementing programs in education, child protection, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and emergency response across most of the country. Save the Children continues to provide the needed assistance to child casualties, covering the costs of medical treatment, providing psychosocial support, and supporting the families of the victims to ensure an enhanced resilience.