In the meeting that was held at the organization’s headquarters in Sana’a, the head of the organization, Ahmed Al-Qorashi, confirmed that child recruitment is an endemic problem in Yemen. Although the phenomenon is not new, it has become prevalent in light of the worsening security situation in the country and the keenness of all parties to mobilize the largest number of soldiers.

Al-Qorashi added that recruiting children into war is a widely practiced crime in Yemen.

He called on all parties in the forces loyal to the government or loyal to the popular revolution to abide by the international standards set by the Paris Principles for the demobilization, reintegration, and rehabilitation of child soldiers in the various military sectors.

He described the Yemeni legislation as fragile, stating that while it forbids the crime, it does not stipulate the punishment. He confirmed that the Yemeni government has not taken any practical measures to tackle child recruitment.

Al-Qorashi stressed that the state is primarily responsible for confronting the recruitment of children, and if the government is unable to enforce international law, it will pave the way for international intervention.

Seyaj’s executive director, Fadel Anam, gave a statement during which he greeted the journalists and expressed his shock at the number of child soldiers present who were between the ages of 14 and 16 years old.

According to him, child recruitment has grown significantly recently as a result of the hostilities occurring in the nation.

The participants in the meeting discussed the mechanisms and ideas necessary to confront this phenomenon and educate society about its danger to future generations.

#Seyaj Organization – Sana’a – November 16, 2011

Child Recruitment Is a War Crime Practiced on a Large Scale in Yemen
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