MoU to strengthen protection of children affected by armed conflict in Yemen signed


The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Force Commander of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, Lieutenant General Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to reinforce the protection of boys and girls affected by armed conflict in that country.

“After years of destructive conflict, the children of Yemen continue to suffer unimaginable violence. Today’s signature is an important addition to the measures already in place to enhance the protection of boys and girls in Yemen, SRSG Gamba said. This clear commitment by the Coalition must now lead to tangible actions for the improvement of the protection of children in Yemen, as specified in the MoU.”

The signature of this MoU today in Riyadh is the result of close engagement between the SRSG’s office and the Coalition and follows the first visit of the highest UN advocate for the protection of conflict affected children to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January.

The MOU foresees the development by the Coalition and the United Nations of a programme of activities to strengthen prevention and protection measures for children in Yemen within the coming two months. Preventative activities would focus on, for example, the issuance of command orders, training, awareness raising and the provision of services for child survivors.

The Special Representative took the opportunity to remind all parties of their obligation to protect civilians, including the most vulnerable ones – children – in the conduct of hostilities under international law and called for parties to focus on ensuring peace in Yemen.

“Peace offers the best protection for children. All parties must implement the Stockholm peace process as a matter of priority and include children at the center of the discussions”, SRSG Gamba added.

Note to editors:

The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict gathers information and reports on how and where children are affected by armed conflict. Parties who commit grave violations against children in any of the 20 conflict situations on her agenda are added to the annexes of the Secretary-General Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict.

The six grave violations against children are: the recruitment and use of children; the killing and maiming of children; rape and other forms of sexual violence; abduction of children; attack on schools and hospitals; and the denial of humanitarian access.

Parties to conflict in Yemen listed in the 2017 Secretary-General Report on Children and Armed Conflict

List A – parties that have not put in place measures during the reporting period to improve the protection of children

  1. Houthis/Ansar Allah (Recruitment and Use; Killing and Maiming; Attacks on Schools and Hospitals)
  2. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula/Ansar al-Sharia (Recruitment and Use)
  3. Pro-government militias, including the Salafists and popular committees (Recruitment and Use)
  4. Security Belt Forces (Recruitment and Use)

List B – parties that have put in place measures during the reporting period aimed at improving the protection of children

  1. Government forces, including the Yemeni Armed Forces (Recruitment and Use)
  2. Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen (Killing and Maiming)