Recruiting children.. Houthi militia’s crime against Yemenis

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September Net Report

The crime of recruiting children in areas under the control of the Iran-backed Houthi rebel militia has not been excluded, but the militia continues to push thousands of Yemeni children into death battles, ignoring national and international laws and norms that prohibit such crimes.

The number of child recruits has reached more than 30,000, according to government and human rights reports.

With such crimes, the Houthi militia challenges all local and international laws that criminalize the recruitment of children and their involvement in conflicts and wars.

With the recent escalation of the militia in Al-Jawf, Sana’a, Marib provinces and other fronts, a large number of militia leaders have moved into public, both in Sana’a and other provinces, to bring in more recruits.

The militia gathered children from villages and housing areas through its supervisors to subject them to sectarian and military courses, including programs aimed at brainwashing children.

Reporter Hamedan Al-Ali told September Net that the Houthi militia considers the recruitment of children part of its identity since it invaded the capital Sana’a, taking advantage of poverty, ignorance and intimidation, adding that the militia has turned schools into traps for children and their sectarian fatigue and sent them to the fronts.

Al-Ali said the militia is lying to children under the pretext of taking them to sectarian courses, and then persuading them to go to the fronts without the knowledge of their parents, considering these methods to be similar to kidnapping one.

Al-Ali said the militia will not stop recruiting children because it considers them an important factor in its battles, as of the lack of care for their lives, and in the event of killing children, the militia benefits by provoking their parents to send other to fronts.

For his part, the Chair of Sam Organization for Rights and Freedoms Tawfiq al-Hamidi explained  to September Net that the Houthi militia took advantage of its control over schools and the more densely populated areas in the recruitment process, adding that there is not yet accurate and confirmed information about the number of children who have been trapped to fight, pointing out that the number may exceed 50 or 60 thousand children who have been recruited.

The militia washed their brains by changing the curricula and activities within schools by supervisors who were appointed especially in the capital Sanaa, Dhamar and Sana’a.

Al-Hamidi added that nearly 360,000 children were lodged in the Houthi summer centers last year.

Al-Hamidi pointed out that the recruitment process was accompanied by a series of violations, including sexual abuse, falsification of documents and exploitation of the economic aspect, in addition to pressure on families and the removal of children without the knowledge of their families.

There are many stories that have been documented, especially those fighting against Saudi Arabia, and we found that there are camps in Amran, Hajjah and Hodeida provinces, including camp 48 previously, these are the main camps used by the group to recruit children and throw them into fronts.

Speaking to September Net, Sam explained that the future will be very scary, especially in light of the sinful religious mobilization, sectarianism against society under the terms of takfir, jihad for the sake of Allah, and the fight against America and Israel. Those bad activities are a threat to both present and future.


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