Save the Children : States with Powerful Friends Can Get Away With Destroying Childre’s lives

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With at least 1689 Yemeni children killed or maimed in 2018, children are still bearing the brunt of the conflict in Yemen, Save the Children warned today. Some 729 of the child casualties were a result of attacks by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition, in addition to 15 attacks on schools and hospitals, according to the annual UN-report on Children and Armed Conflict.

Save the Children said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has failed to fully hold the coalition to account by not including it on the annual ‘list of shame’ of the report for both these grave violations against children in Yemen.

“The UN has thoroughly documented appalling attacks against children in Yemen by all parties to the conflict, yet the Secretary-General failed to list the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition for all the grave violations it committed against children in Yemen in 2018. By doing so, he is effectively failing to hold the coalition to account for yet another year of bombing children in their homes and schools. This decision shows that the Secretary-General has placed politics before children and that states with powerful friends can get away with destroying children’s lives with impunity.”

In the annex of this years’ annual report, the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition is listed for the killing and maiming of children, but not for the attacks on schools and hospitals. Furthermore, it’s only listed in a ‘lighter’ section of the list, with parties that “have put in place measures aimed at improving the protection of children”. Yet the report clearly demonstrates that whatever these measures may be, they are not working, Save the Children said today.

The ‘list of shame’ at the end of the report contains 63 names of parties to conflicts around the world.

The Saudi and Emirati-led Coalition is not the only actor that was named but not held fully accountable in the 2018 Annual Report, Save the Children emphasizes. Last year 927 children were killed and 2135 maimed in Afghanistan by all parties to the conflict, but not all were listed for it in the UN report. And despite a pattern of grave violations against children in the occupied Palestinian territories documented by the UN, the parties to the conflict were not listed in this year’s report.