That earlier draft said the Houthi rebels and affiliated forces were responsible for almost a third of the total 1,340 child casualties verified by the United Nations. One lists parties that have put in place measures to protect children, which includes the Saudi-led military coalition, and the other includes parties that have not.
In an effort to dampen controversy surrounding the report, the blacklist this year is split into two categories.
The draft, first reported by Reuters, names those countries and groups “that recruit or use children, kill or maim children, commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, or engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals, or abduct children in situations of armed conflict”.
Earlier this year, United Nations sanctions monitors reported to the Security Council that the Saudi-led coalition had carried out attacks in Yemen that “may amount to war crimes”.
Guterres spoke to Saudi King Salman ahead of the release of the list, which United Nations officials had shared with Riyadh months earlier to avoid a repeat of the clash that followed the blacklisting by his predecessor Ban Ki-moon previous year.
Ban described his decision to remove the coalition off the list as one of the most “painful and hard”, but stood by his choice warning that “millions of other children would suffer grievously” in places such as Palestine, South Sudan and Syria if funding were cut.
Yemen has been devastated by more than two years of civil war in which President Abd-Rabu Mansour Hadi’s government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is fighting to drive the Houthis out of cities they seized in 2014 and 2015.
More than 10,000 have been killed, and three million have been displaced from their homes. It is due to be submitted to the U.N. Security Council this month, and the 15-member body is to discuss the report on October 31.
The annual children and armed conflict report is produced at the request of the U.N. Security Council.