The Iran regime -backed Houthi militia in Yemen recruited over 900 children into their terrorist group in 2017 alone, with many serving as child soldiers, in a clear violation of international law, according to Mutahar Al-Baziji, the executive director of the Yemeni coalition Monitoring Human Rights Violations.
In a speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, Al-Baziji said: “Reports from Yemeni civil society organizations indicate that one-third of Houthi militia fighters are children, noting that the coalition documented 902 cases of child soldier recruitment by the Houthis in 2017.”
Al-Bazaiji released a statement, which was reported on Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya, to explain that the Iranian proxy group had forcibly recruited children into their terrorist group, and that many of these children had been killed while participating in military actions.
He reported that the remaining children were also subject to a whole host of other human rights abuses, including sexual exploitation by older Houthi recruits and the denial of education.
While in Geneva, Al-Baziji also said: “Childhood tragedy in Yemen is increasing every day as more violations against children at the hands of militias and terrorist organizations are being witnessed.”
The United Nations, the Human Rights Council, international organizations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations have all called for children in Yemen, including those in the presence of armed groups led by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, must be protected.
Of course, this is not the first time the Iranian Regime and its proxy groups have come under fire for the recruitment of child soldiers.
Back in November, Human Rights Watch wrote that there was “no excuse for sending a 13-year-old to war” in its piece decrying Iran for putting children on the front lines in the Syrian Civil War in defence of the Bashar Assad dictatorship, despite the fact that international law dictates that recruiting children under 15 is a war crime.
Human Rights Watch and various media organisations had previously documented the Iranian Regime for using child soldiers as young as 15 in the Syrian Civil War, despite the fact that Iran had signed (but not ratified) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets 18 as the minimum age for recruitment or participation in armed forces.
Human Rights Watch said: “Instead of glorifying [a child’s] participation, Iran should immediately end this practice, ratify the Optional Protocol, and ensure children are protected against recruitment. No country should be proud if its children leave schools to hold weapons. “
Source » ncr-iran