On 18 September, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) and the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict held joint consultations for a briefing by Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui on the situation of children and armed conflict in Yemen. The joint informal consultations aimed to enhance collaboration and coordination between the two bodies.
In her briefing, Ms. Zerrougui expressed deep concern over the escalating conflict in Yemen and its detrimental impact on the protection of children. She detailed the dramatic increase of violations and abuses committed against children, including killing and maiming, recruitment and use of children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access. The Special Representative urgently appealed for all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law; to take immediate and effective action to protect civilians, including children and to prevent further violations. She called for resumed implementation of the action plan signed by the Government of Yemen in May 2014 to end the recruitment and use of children, which had stalled since the escalation of conflict. The Special Representative called for urgent action to ensure and facilitate access to humanitarian assistance. Finally, Ms. Zerrougui emphasized the importance of political dialogue in ending grave violations against children and called for the inclusion of child protection issues in any future negotiations between the parties.
During the exchange of views which followed, Members of the Committee and Working Group strongly condemned ongoing violations and abuses against children in Yemen. They expressed deep concern over the impact of the deteriorating humanitarian situation on children, the disruption of access to education caused by attacks against and by military use of schools, and the rising recruitment and use of children, in violation of applicable international law. They called for an end to all violations and abuses against children and agreed that the issue of the protection of children should be given continued attention.
Members of the Committee and the Working Group expressed support for enhanced communication between the Committee, the Working Group and the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.