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Houthis recruited 305 child fighters in five months, says NGO
[23/06/2018 12:55]
A local NGO has confirmed that the Houthi rebels recruited 305 child fighters in 14 Yemeni provinces from January to 15 June 2018.

The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations revealed in a seminar it organized on Friday on the sidelines of the 38th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, that "most of the children recruited by the rebel militia are basic and secondary school boys (aged 10-17)."

Lawyer Hoda al-Sarari revealed those findings of the Coalition as she addressed the seminar.

"Most of those recruits are from the provinces of Sana'a, Dhamar, Amran and Hajjah," she said.

"The militia is organizing courses to persuade children and their parents to send them to the front lines. Children are first infused with the rumors that Yemen is being occupied by the US and Israel and that they have to be expelled out of Yemen. There are several other ploys to trick these kids into the fronts," she went on.

Liza al-Badwi a researcher on political rights and freedoms pointed to the government's ongoing efforts to rehabilitate children psychologically affected by armed participation in the war or passive experience of its horrors.

She said that 80 percent of the children were allured by Houthis to participate in the conflict by exploiting their families' hard economic situations and need for some money, 10 percent children by whipping up their ideological affiliations and 5 percent by their families' tradition of highly valuing arms possession and wearing.

She said that among concomitant violations against such children are their denial of education and sexual exploitation.

She pointed that efforts are going on to de-radicalize and rehabilitate scores of children and re-integrate them into mainstream schools and society.

Wethaq Foundation for Civil Orientation and King Salman Humanitarian Aid Center are both involved in rehabilitating Houthi ex-child fighters and preparing them psychologically to go back to schools.

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