Taiz | November 18, 2023
The National Commission to Investigate Alleged Violations of Human Rights (NCIAVHR) held a public hearing on Saturday to hear live testimonies of various types of human rights violations against children during the armed conflict in Yemen, coinciding with the International Day for Children’s Rights.
Commission member Judge Ishraq Al-Muqatari explained that these hearings are part of the investigation mechanisms applied by the Commission, where the voices of child victims, their families, eyewitnesses, experts, and relevant child rights advocates are heard.
These hearings also shed light on the reality of the violations experienced by child victims, and the physical, health, and psychological effects resulting from the violations they witnessed and experienced, and strengthening the investigation evidence through diverse live testimonies.
During the hearing, (8) child victims talked about serious violations they suffered in 2023 against their physical and psychological safety, their right to education, health, and access to aid, which led to disfigurement, torture, fear, loss of security, lack of access to medicine and food, and drop out schools.
Dr. Sami Al-Sharabi, Director of the Yemeni-Swedish Children’s Hospital, presented his testimony about the direct and severe targeting of children’s hospitals protected by international conventions, resulting in depriving many children from accessing hospitals, especially disabled and needy children in need of primary care, treatment, and medication, leading to several deaths, which is a violation of international humanitarian law principles and guarantees for the interest of children.
Director of the Prosthetic Center in Taiz Dr. Mansour Al-Wazei provided statistics on the number of children who lost limbs due to indiscriminate shelling and anti-personnel mine explosions in different children’s environments, and his observations on the effects on these children and the specific approach to alleviate their suffering, integrate them with their peers, and overcome the consequences of these violations.
Lawyer Radwan Shamsan from the Monitoring Coalition presented a summary of the most serious violations against children, especially the six violations that affected Yemeni children and the number of documented child victims affected by these violations.
Dr. Mahmoud Al-Bakari, Deputy Director of the Social Affairs and Labor Office in Taiz, outlined the types of services provided by the office with support from international donor organizations in the areas of protection and rehabilitation of child victims, in coordination with local communities and civil society institutions, emphasizing the importance of increasing interventions for the interest of children.
The Psychologists’ Union presented detailed testimonies on the effects of traumatic events, especially shelling, killing, and injuries experienced by child victims on their behavior, lives, and academic achievement.
The hearing session witnessed a variety of live testimonies presented by victims and eyewitnesses in different residential areas in Yemen, reflecting their direct observations and daily witnessing of incidents involving the killing and injury of children while playing or going to school, and the prevention of aid delivery. Additionally, the hearing included experiences from parents in conflict areas overcoming risks targeting their children’s lives and safety.