On Monday 5 March at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, Duaa Dhainy delivered an oral intervention for ADHRB during the Panel on the Rights of the Child. In her intervention, she discussed the effects of the Saudi war in Yemen on children. Click here for a PDF of her remarks.
ADHRB thanks you for your report. We too are deeply concerned with the plight of children in Yemen as the country has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis, due to the actions of the Saudi-led coalition.
Since the beginning of the war, it was expected that Saudi Arabia would target the most vulnerable members of society, namely children. Saudi Arabia does not provide effective protection for them even at home, and continues to persecute them through arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trials and even executing them. Now 8 children are at risk of death penalty.
As the most vulnerable members of society, children are disproportionately affected. The war has closed schools and halted education for millions of children, while the limitations on the import of food have led to severe malnutrition, stunted growth, and delayed cognitive development. The lack of medicine has exacerbated and worsened these effects, helping enable a cholera outbreak that has affected more than 1 million people, a quarter of whom are children under 5 years old. There have been further reports of malaria and diphtheria outbreaks due in part to the lack of sanitary water and basic services. Moreover, according to UNICEF, more than 11 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Saudi Arabia has continued its blockade and airstrikes in a seeming attempt to starve Yemen’s population into submission. Children are feeling the brunt of this devastatingly irresponsible policy. We therefore ask, what steps can the states of this august Council take to protect Yemen’s children?