The 13-year-old Yemeni boy Riad is a former-child soldier recruited by the Houthi militias in Yemen and was forced to fight and undergo military training on how to use all kind of weapons.
The agonizing story - of the child ex-soldier who is undergoing a rehabilitation program supported by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre- is presented as an example on the sidelines of the 38th session for the Council of Human Rights (UNHRC) convening in Geneva, Switzerland, and one of thousands of stories of Yemeni children whose childhood and innocence have been violated, throwing them into a bloody war by the Houthis either by force or persuasion.
The Yemeni coalition for monitoring human rights violation (Yemen Rasd Coalition) presented a short film depicting Riad’s story during the council’s sessions which started on June 18 till July 6.
According to statistics by the Yemen Rasd Coalition, 305 cases of recruitment by Houthi militias were recorded from January to June 15, 2018, of children and teenagers between the ages of 10 and 17.
It also noted that 902 children were recruited by the Houthis in 2017, of whom 268 were killed, 58 were wounded in the fighting, and 122 children were captured by the legitimate Yemeni government forces, pointing out that 454 children are still fighting in the militias.