UAE Press: Houthis should spare children from the horrors of war

ABU DHABI, Schools are not mere brick and mortar buildings, but institutions that help create human societies and empower them to innovate and change. They provide young minds the qualifications and skills needed for a better life, a UAE paper has said.

“Without schools, each generation would have to begin from scratch. This is precisely what is happening to the young generation in Yemen. Almost 79 per cent of children have no schools to go to,” said Khaleej Times in an editorial on Monday.

“The Houthis have shelled and raided the schools, turning them into military posts, quarantine centres, weapon stores and a place to host displaced people. Educational institutions have been deliberately attacked with scant regard for location and political allegiance. And the children, instead of being confined to the safe environs of a school building, are in harm’s way, being recruited as child soldiers and human shields,” it explained.

“This is in stark violation of every international law and convention for protection of children. The Arab Parliament’s resolution incriminating the continued recruitment of children by the Iran-allied Al Houthi militias in Yemen has been welcomed by the Yemeni government,” the Dubai-based paper added.

The editorial noted that “Deprivation of education is the worst form of oppression, and over 2.5 million students have been denied the right to education in Yemen, leaving a whole generation with no other option but to resort to negative coping strategies such as child labour and child marriage.”

The paper went on to say that it is time the UN and other international bodies stepped up their efforts to end all acts of abuse against children. “The international community needs to engage in meaningful negotiations to achieve a settlement with lasting, sustainable peace. Humanitarian agencies facing increasing restrictions on their work in the war torn country should be allowed to function. Countries should take a cue from the UAE, which has reiterated that the Arab coalition is committed to the relief plan for the Yemeni people. True to its word, the country, along with Saudi Arabia and others, is at work delivering aid at the port of Hodeidah,” it stated.

“More countries and international bodies should join to end the sufferings of the people of Yemen, especially its children. And the crime committed against the children of Yemen by the Houthis should be declared the worst form of child oppression,” it concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency