Yemen Children trapped between forced Houthi recruitment and street-begging

The Houthi militia’s control areas are witnessing a wide spread of beggars, especially children, due to the impoverishing measures followed by the militias, such as high prices, declining job opportunities, low employee salaries, and even interruption or families losing their breadwinners.

The phenomenon of children forced into street begging, the homeless, and those who engage in beggary work, spread in the streets of Sanaa and the rest of the Houthi militia-controlled areas, due to the increasing poverty rate.

Yemeni families, even those to which some of the beggars currently belong, were living a decent and stable life, before the Houthi attack of Yemeni cities, destroying their living situation, throwing them into poverty and depriving their residents of the only source of securing their monthly expenses; the government salary.

The Iran-backed Houthis refrained from paying the salaries of employees in their areas of control for the fourth year in a row, which has had a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of Yemeni families, some of whom have been forced into street begging in search of a living.

As a result of the interruption of salaries, a number of commercial activities stopped, and the private sector was forced to lay off part of its employees due to the decline in the volume of commercial movement and the increase in levies and royalties, which contributed to the increase in the unemployment rate and the expansion of the circle of food insecurity.

Instead of tackling poverty, unemployment and paying the salaries, the Houthis are taking advantage of the lack of Yemeni families to pressure them to send their sons to the fronts to fight with them, in return for promises to deliver relief aid from those provided by UN humanitarian agencies.

Human rights sources said that the Houthis had recruited more than 40,000 children during the past six years, despite the high number of victims among them, which amounted to about 5000 dead and about 15,000 wounded.

According to Yemen's Moyun Human Rights Organization, the Houthis used about 52 training camps for thousands of students and children, coinciding with continuous recruitment campaigns targeting schools in the governorates of Saada, Sana'a, Mahwit, Hodeidah, Hajjah and Dhamar.

Ten thousand children have been killed or maimed since the Houthi militia coup, at a rate of four children per day. According to Yemen's Moyun.

Information also indicates that more than two million school-age boys and girls are not enrolled in school, including half a million displaced people, while four out of five children need humanitarian assistance, and this exceeds 11 million Yemeni children.