58 humanitarian partners are currently operational in Yemen, including 24 national NGOs4, 24 international NGOs5, 9 UN AFPs, 4 government agencies and 1 international organization. However, there are less than 15 partners operational in all except two governorates (Hajjah and Amran).52
Dangers and Injuries
The continuing heavy air raids put children at risk of death and injuries, especially through the indiscriminate bombing of market places, resident neighborhoods, schools and hospitals. As a consequence, there are many half-destroyed houses and debris that become a hazard to children.
Evidence indicates that the Saudi-led coalition used banned cluster munitions in airstrikes against Houthi forces. Cluster munitions pose long-term dangers to civilians and are prohibited by a 2008 treaty adopted by 116 countries, though not Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or the United States.53 Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of submunitions. The submunitions are designed to explode after spreading out over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of the attack at risk of death or injury. Many submunitions often do not explode, becoming de facto landmines.
In this crises, even lesser injuries can be fatal: MSF teams working in Yemen have witnessed pregnant women and children dying after arriving too late at the health center because of petrol shortages or having to hole up for days on end while waiting for a lull in the fighting. People requiring emergency medical treatment have also died after being held up at roadblocks guarded by combatants.54
At least 1,600 civilians have been killed since the escalation of fighting in March 2015, including 287 children. Over 3,400 civilians have been injured, including 426 children. Given the challenges around access, verification has been difficult so the actual number is likely much higher.55
100% of respondents of a rapid assessment in Aden Governorate report that they are not safe.56 Reason that threaten the whole communities, including children: battles or clashes between armed groups (23%), deliberate killings of civilians by the army or armed groups (20%), attacks or bombings (20%). Violence against boys, girls and women was mentioned in the fourth place (7%).
60% of respondents of the same assessment experienced threats and harassment when they fled their homes.57 Threats included armed personnel who seized or occupied their homes (13%), prevention to leave the area by armed personnel and at checkpoints (7%), or direct threats who jeopardized their safety (17%, not specified which threat).58
53.3% of respondents also indicated that residents who did not leave their homes also faced threats: 23% to leave their homes, 13% home being used for military purposes or occupied by armed people, 6% armed blockades were imposed, 3% experienced direct threats jeopardizing their safety.59 The assessment was based on key informant interviews with 40 women and 42 men, and no data on how children are directly affected by these threats are available.
In Abyan Governorate, 88% of respondents reported threats and harassment when trying to flee their homes.60 Again the same threats as above were mentioned, but not sufficiently specified.
No information available.
Response to date
Prevention and life-saving messages reach hundreds of thousands of IDPs and community members. The messages focus, among other, on prevention of physical injury or death due to mines, UXO and/or ERW.61
Priority is placed on supporting the existing MRM and expanding it to newly affected areas and monitoring and responding to grave child rights violations.62
Insecurity and limited access continue to pose major challenges for the scale-up of the humanitarian response delivery of a humanitarian response.
An assessment in Amran Governorate showed some responses highlighting the fact that children do not have a safe space to play in and spend their time.63
Physical violence and other harmful practices
Displacement, family separation and the experience of conflict create a situation where girls and boys are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and violence. Children of all ages are at risk to violence at home and in public spaces.
Domestic violence: the majority of available assessments indicate that over 60% of interviewed people fled to homes of relatives and friends, leading to overcrowded houses of host families.64 In Amran, 53% of the respondents feel that most of the IDPs have either poor or very poor privacy in their new host environment.65Domestic violence can be increased by the stress and overcrowding shared by multiple families.
Early marriage: child marriage is a prevalent issue in emergencies. A study from the Syrian context, indicates that raising money from bride price is not the primary motivation for most families who marry their children. Child marriage is supposedly seen as a form of ‘protection’ and a way for families to keep the ‘honor’ of their daughters. It is also seen as a way to reduce the number of people in a household and the related economic burden of feeding their child, clothing her, etc. Older unmarried girls start to feel the rejection from their families as they are seen as an added burden to protect and a source of worry regarding their so-called ‘honor’.66