Child Protection

The child protection programme aims to strengthen the protective environment for all children in Yemen

UNICEF Yemen/2018/Taha Al-Mahbashi

The Challenge

UNICEF aims to strengthen the protective environment for all children and youth through advocacy, policy refinement, legislative reforms and development of national capacity to monitor, analyze and report violations of child rights.

Children are the primary victims of the crisis. According to the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting on grave child rights violations, from March 2015 to March 2019, more than 7,522 children have been verified as killed or maimed since the start of the conflict and more than 3,309 boys have been recruited into armed forces and groups; however, the actual figures are likely to be higher. Children remain under extreme risk of death or injury from unexploded ordinances, landmines and explosive remnants of war.

More than 7,500 children have been verified as killed or maimed since the start of the conflict.

In 2018, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting verified 1,321 incidents of grave violations against children. The escalation of hostilities in Al Hudaydah governorate resulted in a dramatic increase of children killed and injured because of the conflict. Specifically, data increased from around 100 child casualties in 2017 to over 500 child casualties in 2018. 

The verification of recruitment and use of children decreased by 60 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017 due to security threats and access constraints on humanitarian actors and human rights monitors. Education and health related incidents increased by 56 per cent compared to the previous year; 46 per cent of the education and health related incidents were attacks on schools and hospitals and 44 per cent were the military use of schools and hospitals. 

UNICEF Yemen/2018/Moohialdin Fuad
A young girl in a centre for displaced communities in Aden.

The Solution

Despite the operational challenges, UNICEF has continued to provide lifesaving education on the risks posed by mines, unexploded ordnances and explosive remnants of war reaching 1,580,032 conflict affected people including 1,145,851 children (631,391 boys; 514,460 girls) and 434,181 adults (261,264 male; 172,917 female) across 20 governorates, reaching 108 per cent of the annual target. Mine Risk Education was delivered in schools, in child friendly spaces, and through community campaigns. 

Vulnerable children are supported through survivor assistance, education on mines/ explosive remnants of war and resilience building.

  • In 2018, psychosocial support was provided to 781,353 people, including 538,812 children (267,927 boys; 270,885 girls) and 242,541 adults (male: 101,935; female: 140,606) in 22 governorates through a network of fixed and mobile child friendly spaces to help them overcome the immediate and long-term consequences of their exposure to violence. 

Through the case management programme, UNICEF continued to support the referral and provision of critical services to children, including facilitating the access to services of the most vulnerable children by supporting the transportation and accommodation. 

  • At least 10,370 children (5,844 boys; 4,526 girls) have been identified by trained case managers and have been provided with needed services including individual counselling, family tracing and reunification, victim assistance, reintegration, GBV response, legal, and education services. Out of those children, 683 (471 boys; 212 girls) were referred and provided with special medical life-saving services majority of which were in Sa’ada (27 per cent), Taizz (21 per cent) and Al Hudaydah (16 per cent) as a response to the increased hostilities in the most conflict affected governorates.
  • Furthermore, UNICEF expanded the victim assistance services to children who lost their limbs and children with disabilities by supporting the Prosthesis and Rehabilitation centers in Aden and Taizz governorates as well as supporting the access of children coming from other governorates to these centers. By end of 2018, 102 children (79 boys; 23 girls) were provided with prosthesis and artificial limbs and 213 children (127 girls; 86 boys) were provided with assistive devices to help them overcome their disability.
UNICEF Yemen/2018
Children playing at the Child Friendly Space of Shabwah governorate, Yemen.