How did the Houthi militia turn schools into traps to recruit children?


A women’s organization organized a symposium on the recruitment of children by the Houthi militia and its targeting of students to destroy them with terrorist ideology.

In the symposium titled “Recruiting children is a Jothi ideological ideology,” human rights and media specialists emphasized that the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist militia’s recruitment of children and students is a dirty ideology that entrenches sectarianism, and targets childhood to destroy it with the ideology of terrorism without deterrent punishment.

The participants in the symposium, which was held in cooperation with the European organizations allied for peace in Yemen, and the UN and children’s organizations called for action against this militia to help protect and rehabilitate Yemeni children.

The American journalist at the Golden Institute for International Strategy, Adele Narzian, said: “The recruitment of children by the Houthi militia is compatible with Iranian thinking, and the terrorist militia exploits children and parents to push them into the battlefields, and an international action is required against this militia that destroyed and exploited the children of the Yemeni people. ».

The head of the Yemeni-European House for Human Rights, Mansour al-Shadadi, added that the ideology of entrenching sectarianism among children is watched by society without moving, and stressed that child soldiers who fight in the militia’s ranks constitute up to half of the militia’s total fighters, and all these forms of recruitment cause the suffering of children who are more Victims of war are physically and psychologically damaged.

Al-Shadadi attributed the reason to the continuous sectarian ideologization, through cultural courses or sectarian charging through the media, especially radio and the channels allowed to be shown in the areas controlled by the Houthis. During the appointment of the elder brother of the Houthi leader to the process of recruiting children and facilitating ideological operations, and the wave of recruitment caused children not to go to school, and there are other factors that helped in the issue of ideologicalization for children, which are the economic effects of the war on people and families and the attempt to attract children from poor and uneducated families through Food baskets looted from international organizations and taken over by militia supervisors, the war has taken a heavy toll on the economy and many families can no longer afford the cost of transportation to school, and this forces parents to accept the proposals of the militia representatives.

He added: Many child soldiers are in the grip of the Yemeni National Army, and local authorities are carrying out programs to return child soldiers to civilian life after the militia forcibly recruited them, as part of a program implemented by local authorities in partnership with international children’s organizations and the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the majority of child soldiers live in Militia-controlled areas. The biggest fear, however, is that they will be re-recruited once they return to their families.

Likewise, the fact that the children involved in the conflicts are children who are already affected by the ideology taught by the religious section of the militia, and thus can be re-recruited and revive their sectarian spirit, especially when they mix with their peers who are still victims of the Houthi militia. Tolerance and coexistence and broadcasting programs calling for that, and enrolling children affected by sectarian and religious animosity in rehabilitation and social reintegration programs. We should all invite international organizations and children’s organizations to help protect and rehabilitate children.

In turn, the Yemeni human rights activist Basem Al-Absi stated that the militia, once it takes control of an area, quickly implements extensive changes in the education offices, and the militia aims to achieve two main goals behind their control of schools and education in general, the first: It is a phased one, that is to hunt students and turn them into soldiers And sending them to the fronts, turning schools into traps for children and students.

The second goal: strategic or long-term, which is to change the identity of society and its ideology and spread its extremist ideology through the school, and the militia formed ministerial committees that aim to change the school curricula to create a generation booby-trapped with sectarianism and racism and raise the status of violence and the carrying of arms in a way that threatens the social fabric, and increases the pace of recruitment Children, and instead of the school being a reason for consolidating the values ​​of coexistence, peace, interdependence and human rights principles through cultural and sports activities, the militia perpetuates the culture of carrying arms.

He added: “The militia is kidnapping and displacing teachers who reject their sectarian ideas, and replacing them with loyalists, as these militias are replacing those who have been kidnapped or excluded from teachers with others, many of whom have nothing to do with the educational field. They also use the summer centers to mobilize them sectarianly and perpetuate the concepts of violence. Al-Absi demanded that there be a real role for international organizations to compel the Houthis not to use schools to recruit children and adolescents. matters, with the aim of rejecting the sectarianization of the educational process, and perpetuating a culture of violence in schools, and that the process of handing over any aid intended for education and teachers through the Yemeni government, and not through armed groups and militias that exploit them to spread their extremist ideology.

For his part, the Secretary-General of the International Caucus for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms, Majdi Al-Akwa, explained that according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and the Additional Protocol of 2000, which entered into force in 2002 regarding the involvement of children in armed conflict, and as we know and the international community knows, the militia turned against The Yemeni state, and it has committed many different war crimes, the most prominent civilian victims and the most vulnerable link are children and women.

He stressed that the militia follows methods in recruiting children to push them into the battlefronts by destroying the educational sector and educational facilities, and in all the wars that the militia has fought, it deliberately destroyed educational facilities, turning most of them into military barracks, weapons stores, prisons and training camps, and this led to the deprivation of thousands of children of the right to Education is what facilitates their exploitation as a result of poverty and living conditions to push them into the battlefronts, and it relied on establishing expensive private schools that are impossible for the majority of people to pay for these schools, and education for only a specific group became able to bear these costs, and it became one of the militia’s means to recruit children through the morning program He repeated daily extremist curricula that incite violence and hatred, and hung pictures of fellow students who had previously been deceived to arouse their affection, and stressed that the militia must be classified on terrorist lists so that peace prevails in Yemen and the region.

While the President of the Yemeni Broken Point organization d. Arwa Al-Khattabi: “Unfortunately, when UNICEF stopped printing curricula, Al-Houthi received external support to print ideological curricula, and the international community must stop this.”

The head of the Dutch Center for Yemeni Human Rights, Nasser Al-Qadari, also stressed that there is a real problem, when the teacher refuses to teach the children the curricula, he faces a threat from the militia, and their salaries are also cut, and their job grades are stolen, taken and given to a Houthi person and canceled from the teachers.

Meanwhile, a member of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Council, Nabil Al-Asadi revealed that the children of Houthi leaders and those who support them were educated in schools outside Yemen, while the children of the simple people are on the frontlines, and there is a Houthi minister, Hassan Zaid, who always incites and confirms that schools must be closed and go to the barricades, and children are also transferred to The graves of the Houthis are built in the Iranian way.

Many teachers have had their salaries cut in order to force them to go to the front. Recently, UNICEF printed books glorifying al-Houthi on the cover of the book and with the UNICEF logo, and international organizations look at Yemen in a political way, and work according to the agenda of other international parties that want to continue the absurd war.

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