The Houthi militias’ military recruitment of children has increased after many of their members have been killed and many others refuse to fight on their frontlines and on behalf of Iran.
The Houthis have so far recruited more than 23,000 children in a stark violation of international agreements and laws that protect children’s rights. Of those, 2,500 children have been recruited since the beginning of 2018.
The children are trained to use light, medium and heavy weapons and then deployed on battlefronts. The Houthis thus deprive them of an education after pressuring their parents and guardians to send the children to battlefields.
The Houthi militias have also pushed more than two million children to work as a result of the war. More than 4.5 million children have been deprived of an education, and in the past two years alone, 1.6 million children could not enroll in schools.
The Houthis have also shelled and partially or completely destroyed 2,372 schools and used more than 1,500 other schools as prisons and military barracks.
King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has rehabilitated several Yemeni children who were recruited by the Houthis and involved in the fighting.
The center is working with the Yemeni Wethaq Foundation for Civil Orientation to implement a program that is executed by a team of doctors, psychologists, social workers and educators in order to help the children recover. According to Wethaq, the number of children rehabilitated so far is 161.