Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Minister Accuses Houthi Militias of Pushing Child Recruits to Drug Abuse | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Children stand next to a tent at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sana’a, Yemen April 24, 2017. (Reuters)

Jeddah – Human Rights Minister in the legitimate Yemeni government Dr. Mohammed Askar accused the Houthi insurgents of committing grave violations against children in the war-torn country.

Since they seized Sana’a in 2014, the violations have ranged from kidnapping to murder to recruitment for fighting. They have even reached the extent of forcing children into drug abuse, he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He said that in the first month alone of the coup, back in 2014, the Houthis committed 37 violations against children.

He based his allegations on a report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor that documented a series of violations against educational institutions in Sana’a that were committed during the coup.

One of these violations included the recruitment of child soldiers, under the age of 18, and their deployment at checkpoints throughout the capital.

The recruitment of children is barred by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989.

Askar revealed that 1,529 cases of child recruitment by Houthi militias were documented in 2017. The majority of these recruitment processes took place in poor areas.

As for pushing them to into drug abuse, he explained that children are given hallucinogenic drugs to deal with the violent acts that they are forced to commit.