Desk review yemen



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Sexual Violence

Overview/Issue


Evidence shows that gender-based violence in its multiple forms increases during emergencies. The risk of sexual violence, particularly the use of sexual violence by armed actors against women and girls in the region is possible. However, currently there are no reports on sexual violence.

The majority of available assessments indicate that over 60% of people fled to homes of relatives and friends, leading to overcrowded houses of host families.67 Sexual assaults can increase due to the overcrowding of houses, which are shared by multiple families.


Number of children affected


No information available.

Capacities


No information available.

Response to date


Dignity kits to are being distributed, combined psychosocial support sessions, awareness sessions on hygiene and reproductive health during displacement, women rights, GBV and available reproductive health services.68

Priority is on supporting the existing MRM and expanding it to newly affected areas, gender-based violence, monitoring and responding to grave child rights violations.


Gaps


No information available.

Psychosocial distress and mental disorders

Overview/Issue


Children have been facing significant psychological stress inflicted by prolonged violence, instability, displacement and the aerial bombings. The mental health and well-being of children is at risk due to the extreme violence to which they are being exposed.

Number of children affected


An Abyan Governorate rapid assessment triggered a 96.88% ‘yes response’ to the question ‘is there a serious problem in your community because some people - including children- feel very upset, sad, worried, scared or angry?’69 There no age-disaggregation in this question.

An ADRA and NRC assessment for Sada’a and Amran found that 96% of the participants confirmed that families and children in the community are facing protection and psychological problems due to the conflict and airstrikes.70

21% of respondents of a rapid assessment carried in Sadah Governorate, report serious problems because of sadness, anger, anxiety feeling, also affecting children.71

An assessment in Amran Governorate showed that the respondents, including children and care takers, highlighted that feeling unsafe and fear are the main risks that children are facing and speaking about. Caregivers spoke about the unstable psychological status of children, due to, among other, the repeated sound of explosions. 82% of the respondents had noticed a change in children’s behavior since the beginning of the conflict and indicated concern that wellbeing of children may get worse as the conflict continues. Changes in children that have been noticed: more violent and hostile behavior, physical symptoms such as difficulties to sleep and prevent involuntary urination, loss of focus.72


Capacities


No information available.

Response to date


UNICEF supports affected children and communities with psychosocial support through child friendly spaces, including through sport, arts and recreational activities.73 Over 330,000 children benefit from psychosocial support through child friendly spaces.74

Gaps/priorities identified by key informants


  • Recreational activities for war affected children;

  • Provision of an open space for children to play and learn about risks, dangers in the environment and safety;

  • Psycho-social support for war affected children.75



Children associated with armed forces and groups

Overview/Issue


Since the recent escalation of the conflict, the Houthi armed group has intensified its recruitment, training, and deployment of children. Since September 2014, when the Houthis took control of Sana’a, they have increasingly used children as scouts, guards, runners, and fighters, with some children being wounded and killed. According to one recruiter, children without military training do not participate in active combat, but mostly serve as guards or carry ammunition and food to front-line fighters. They also retrieve killed and wounded fighters and provide first aid.76

The Houthis first give children ideological and Zaidi Shia Islamic training for at least a month, followed by military training at one of their bases across the country. The children said they were not paid but were given food and qat. Most of them brought their own weapons – military firearms are common among Yemeni families – but were provided ammunition.77

Also Islamist and tribal militias and armed groups such as AQAP are deploying child soldiers.

Parties to the conflict, of which all recruit and use children6:



  • Al-Houthi/Ansar Allah

  • Al-Qaida in the Arab Peninsula (AQIP)/Ansar al-Sharia

  • Government forces, including the Yemeni Armed Forces, the First Armoured Division, the Military Police, the special security forces and Republican Guards - has concluded an action plan with the UN in line with SC resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005)

  • Pro-Government militias, including the Salafists and Popular Committees

An assessment in Amran Governorate showed that 7 out of 35 respondents have reported that they have seen children carrying weapons. The respondents also said that children are at high risk of being involved in the armed conflict and that they are afraid that this risk will continue.

Respondents stated kidnapping of children is a high risks and they are afraid that this risk will continue.78

Number of children affected


There are no reliable estimates of how many children are associated with the armed forces and armed groups.

The early closure of 3,600 schools (76% of the country’s total) due to insecurity, which impeded about 1.85 million children to take this year’s final exams, makes children more susceptible to recruitment by the many armed groups.79

37.5% of a total of 32 surveyors of an assessment carried out in Abyan directly observed children below 18 carrying arms.80

UNICEF verified that 159 boys were recruited by armed groups – all since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015.81


Capacities


No information available.

Response to date


Priority is on supporting the existing MRM and expanding it to newly affected areas and monitoring and responding to grave child rights violations.

Gaps


No information available.

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