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France Condemns Houthi Recruitment of Children in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A boy holds up his weapon as he attends an anti-government gathering held by followers of the Houthi group in Arhab, north of Yemen’s capital Sana’a August 17, 2014.

Paris – France has condemned the use of child soldiers by Houthi militias, a practice documented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

France called on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to abide by international law, which prohibits the use of children in armed conflicts, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the 10th anniversary of the Paris Principles and Commitments, “on Feb. 21 we joined the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in hosting the international conference on ‘Protecting Children from War,’ which tackled the fate of children in armed conflicts,” the statement said.

It renewed France’s call for the necessity to find a political solution that “alone can prevent further deterioration in Yemen’s security and humanitarian situation and combat terrorism.”

“We reiterate our full support to the efforts of Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN special envoy to Yemen.”

The French condemnation followed a report issued on Tuesday by Amnesty International, which accused Houthis of recruiting nearly 1,500 children as young as 15 and using religious schools to lure teenagers into their ranks without their parents’ knowledge.