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2 million Yemeni children forced to work, 200,000 recruited as child soldiers by Houthi

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Yemeni children present documents in order to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
By Middle East Affairs 

Yemen’s Minister of Social Affairs and Labor said that more than two million Yemeni children have been working because of the war and another 200,000 had been recruited by the Houthi to serve as child soldiers.

Recruiting children to fight violates international conventions and laws protecting children’s rights.

Dr Abtaj Al-Kamal speaking to Yemeni News Agency said that since the start of the war, 4.5 million children have been deprived of an education, while in the last two years 1.6 million have been denied access to an education as fighting spread all over Yemen.

Speaking on International Program of the Elimination of Child Labor Day, Dr.Al-Kamal said that fighting between Houthi militias and Yemen’s army have destroyed 2,372 schools.

She said that children in Yemen were in an extremely vulnerable position as they have been made to suffer tragically because of the war. Their rights to an education have been destroyed, many have seen their families get killed, homes destroyed, been forced to flee only to relocate to a new armed stronghold. Millions of children are starving and unable to receive proper nutrition so many have fallen ill and are ridden with diseases.

The war has also forced families into depressing economic situations forcing children to work to help support their children. Many have been forced to join the Houthi militias and have had their families threatened.

Dr. Al-Kamal asked that the international community intervene and help the children of Yemen who need protection from a loss of education, constant attacks, and malnutrition.