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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee is concerned that domestic violence against children is widely associated with the assumption that parents have the right to physically punish their children as a form of discipline in the State party. It is further concerned at reports indicating that domestic violence against children could lead to their death or to disabilities and that children are also victims of sexual assault in the family sphere. The Committee notes with concern the absence of a legislative framework on domestic violence.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, some day care settings and as a sentence for crime.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Yemen, the overall situation for children is bad. Girls are oppressed by female genital mutilation and patriarchal structures; no protection measures are installed for asylum seeker children and the health system is deficient.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is deeply concerned that, despite the State party’s efforts to combat female genital mutilation (FGM), that harmful practice is still common in the coastal governorates. It is concerned at reports indicating that FGM is also prevalent in other governorates. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to expedite the adoption of the draft amendments which explicitly prohibit and criminalize FGM and which set the minimum age of marriage at 18 years as well as combat FGM, child marriage and forced marriage by, among other measures, conducting awareness-raising programmes and campaigns with a view to changing attitudes, and providing counselling and reproductive education with a view to preventing and combating FGM and child marriages, which are harmful to the health and well-being of girls.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee remains concerned about the lack of accurate disaggregated statistical data on children with disabilities. It is also concerned about the lack of information on the extent and quality of services provided to children with disabilities, their actual access to health care, integration and rehabilitation services, education and measures in place to ensure accessibility to public buildings and public transportation.
The Committee recommends to allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources to support their families and ensure the enjoyment of their rights and take the necessary measures to ensure accessibility for children with disabilities in public buildings and on public transport.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee notes the efforts of the State party to address the situation of refugee and asylum seekers, in particular Somalis and Ethiopians. However, the Committee is, inter alia, concerned that the legal status of refugees and asylum seekers is governed by decrees and legal provisions that are applied inconsistently. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt a comprehensive legal framework in line with international standards for refugees and asylum seekers, and develop an efficient and well-founded cooperation mechanism with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to identify and provide assistance to children in need of protection, especially unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children. The Committee also urges the State party to establish a mechanism to provide protective measures for unaccompanied children, including the appointment of guardians to, inter alia, assist children with the relevant processes and procedures.Yemen should also ensure that unaccompanied children, refugees and asylum-seeking children are not detained because of illegal entry/stay and have effectively the right to seek asylum and to stay in the State party until the end of asylum procedures as well as to ensure the provision of adequate medical treatment, mental health care and psychosocial support to refugee, asylum-seeking and internally displaced children who fall victim to sexual violence.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee recommends that the combined second and third periodic reports and the written replies by the State party and the present concluding observations are made widely available in the languages of the country, including through the Internet.
physical health

The Committee welcomes the decline in the mortality rate of children under 5 years old from 102 deaths per 1,000 births in 2003 to 77 deaths per 1,000 births in 2012 in the State party. However, it notes with concern that, despite the efforts of the State party to, inter alia, increase the number of health facilities and expand its immunization programmes, children’s access to health care and services remains limited and deficient. The Committee expresses its serious concern at the high rates of chronic malnutrition (stunting) and wasting (acute malnutrition) among children, in particular among children under 5 years of age, which are the second highest rates worldwide, and at the lack of an effective mechanism to assess the effectiveness of the campaigns being conducted to raise awareness of the risks of malnutrition and steps taken to promote good practices in feeding infants and young children.

The Committee expresses its serious concern at the negative impact of the 2011 to 2012 conflict on children’s access to health care and services, as it has contributed to, inter alia, the destruction and occupation of health facilities by the parties involved in the conflict, such facilities’ closure, the interruption of immunization programmes and the consequent drop of immunization rates, and the outbreak of communicable diseases, such as cholera.
The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to develop outreach services, including a network of mobile healthcare facilities in conflict-affected areas, particularly targeting children and pregnant women, as an interim measure, and ensure that healthcare facilities are rehabilitated and not occupied for military purposes by either the Armed Forces or non-State armed groups.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned that the mental health and well-being of children is at risk due to the extreme violence to which they have been exposed in conflict-affected areas. It is further concerned at the scarcity of information provided by the State party on how it identifies children at risk and what type of support and assistance they are given.
The Committee urges the State party to adopt effective measures to address the mental health condition of children suffering trauma and other psychological disorders in conflict-affected areas. This should include community-based efforts to identify affected children and provide accessible services at local level.

Business sector

The Committee is seriously concerned at the information provided by the State party, according to which the 11 per cent of all child labourers in the State party are aged between 5 and 11, while 28.5 per cent are aged between 12 and 14. It is also concerned at the inconsistencies in the State party’s legislation and between its legislation and international standards regarding the minimum age for employment. It is also concerned that the majority of children work in the agriculture and fishing sectors or as domestic servants, and at the fact that those children are forced to carry out hazardous work. The Committee is further concerned about the lack of measures to protect child labourers from abuse, including sexual abuse.
The Committee recommends that the State party establish in law the minimum age of employment at 15 years and revise the relevant legislation so as to ensure that children under 18 are not employed in dangerous or harmful professions. Also, Yemen should take effective measures to combat child labour and take urgent measures to remove children from hazardous work in the agriculture and fishing sectors and domestic work.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee notes the efforts made by the State party to strengthen the juvenile justice system, such as the development of a juvenile justice information system in nine governorates and the inclusion of training on children’s rights in the curriculum of the Police Academy and the High Judicial Institute. It is further concerned at the situation of children in conflict with the law between 15 and 18 years, who are treated as adults by the justice system and held in prisons for adults as well as the arbitrary detention of children in conflict with the law, despite having served their sentence, owing to their parents or legal guardians’ inability to pay the relevant fines and/or civil compensation. There are also harsh conditions faced by children detained in police stations or prisons, a lack of adequate alternatives for pretrial and other forms of detention and the non-respect of fair trial guarantees and a lack of adequate human and financial resources of the juvenile justice system.

Specific observations

The Committee is deeply concerned that, although birth registration is free of charge, very low levels of birth registration persist in the State party. It is also concerned at the lack of reporting and monitoring of births taking place in homes, in particular in rural areas, as well as at corruption linked to birth registration, as illegal fees are requested and birth certificates are also counterfeited.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the fourth periodic reports released on 25 February 2014.
Additional background

SABER country report Yemen - school autonomy

SABER country report Yemen on early childhood development

Last Updated (date)16th of February, 2022