DUBAI: The Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children into their ranks in 2017, according to the executive director of the Yemeni coalition Monitoring Human Rights Violations Mutahar Al-Baziji, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
Al-Bazaiji said in a statement that the forced recruitment of children was accompanied by many violations, most notably the denial of education and sexual exploitation by older recruits.
Many children were also killed while participating in military actions.
“Childhood tragedy in Yemen is increasing every day as more violations against children at the hands of militias and terrorist organizations are being witnessed,” Al-Baziji said in a speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
“Reports from Yemeni civil society organizations indicate that one-third of Houthi militia fighters are children, noting that the coalition documented 902 cases of child soldier recruitment by the Houthis in 2017,” he added
The United Nations, the Human Rights Council, international organizations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for the protection of children in Yemen in the presence of armed groups, led by the Houthi militia.