UN documents nearly 1,500 child soldiers in Yemen

Nearly 1,500 children have been recruited by Yemen's warring parties, mostly the Houthis (Ansarallah), since March 2015, the UN said Tuesday (February 28th).

UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the UN has verified the recruitment of 1,476 children, all boys, between March 26th, 2015 and January 31st, AFP reported.

"The numbers are likely to be much higher as most families are not willing to talk about the recruitment of their children, for fear of reprisals," she said.

"Just last week, we received new reports of children who were recruited without the knowledge of their families," she said, adding that children under 18 are either being "misled or attracted by promises of financial rewards or social status".

"We remind all parties to the conflict that the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is strictly forbidden by international human rights law and international humanitarian law," she said, adding that recruitment of children under 15 "may amount to a war crime".

"We urge them to immediately release such children."

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