Child protection units established throughout Yemen
“Child protection units are the outcome of workshops held to instruct participants on how to protect children and their rights, as workshop leaders have dealt with many cases of child abuse,” said Abdullah Al-Khamesi, an official from the Childhood Care Organization.
Al-Khamesi confirmed that the local council leaders play a vital role in defending and protecting the children, saying, “Due to the privileges that local council members have [such as the right to intervene in child abuse cases], it appears that the child protection unit will be effective.”
“The local council will supervise and follow up on the activities of the child protection unit, and will therefore improve the performance of the units. [During the workshop] the local council highlighted important children’s issues such as early marriage, child laborers, refugee children and corporeal punishment in schools and in juvenile detention centers. The local councils, as civil society organizations, have also improved collective work around children’s issues,” said Mukhtar Al-Morree, an official in the Children’s Parliament, a forum for children to express their views on social issues.
“Due to migration of children from villages to cities, in which they are sometimes forced to do hard labor, or are enlisted by conflicting [political and paramilitary] groups, cooperation between local councils and nongovernment organizations has become paramount in order to protect children,” said Yahya Al-Makethi, an official of the Municipality of Sana’a.
“In the workshop we succeeded in establishing child protection units in each local council in every district of Yemen. Encouraging the monitoring of child abuse will improve cooperation between civil society organizations and local councils, as well as help establish a joint data center to monitor child abuse,” Abdu Al-Harazi, a Child Care Organization member, said during the workshop.
Yemen has signed several international treaties on child issues. The most significant of them is the International Children’s Convention, signed in May of 1991.