On 18 April 2022 Sana’a authorities signed an Action Plan with the United Nations to protect children and prevent grave violations against them in the context of the armed conflict in Yemen.
The Action Plan commits the Sana’a authorities and their forces to comply with the prohibition of the recruitment and use of all children in armed conflict, including in support roles. It gives the authorities six months to identify all children under 18 years old in their ranks and requires the authorities to facilitate their release and reintegration into their communities. It also includes provisions to prevent the killing and maiming of children, and protect health and education facilities, and their personnel.
“I commend the authorities in Sana’a for signing the Action Plan. This is a step in the right direction toward protecting Yemen’s children, who have suffered horribly through more than seven years of conflict,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly. “The UN is committed to children’s welfare and helping the Sana’a authorities and forces they control turn the plan into action starting now.”
The Action Plan requires the authorities in Sana’a to implement its provisions and activities in close collaboration with the United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) on grave violations against children in Yemen, and in cooperation with relevant United Nations agencies and departments, and international and local civil society partners, as well as with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG-CAAC).
“The signing of the Action Plan is an important milestone for the protection of children in Yemen whose lives have been so horrifically affected by the conflict,” UNICEF Representative to Yemen, Philippe Duamelle, declared. “We look forward to the full implementation of the Action Plan and to continue working with all parties for the protection and wellbeing of children in Yemen.”
The Action Plan sets a framework for establishing and implementing preventive and remedial measures for the better protection of all children in the context of the conflict. Action Plans are a key tool of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda, which mandates that the UN on the ground engage with all parties to conflict listed in the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict to end and prevent grave violations against children.
“With this action plan, all principal parties involved in the armed conflict in Yemen are now working with the United Nations through commitments to end and prevent grave violations against children. In this moment of truce, it is important for all parties to engage in good faith in a negotiated process to produce a lasting peace in Yemen. Ultimately, peace is the best way to prevent grave violations against children in Yemen,” said the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba.