Impunity for human rights abusers in Yemen as 16 million go hungry
LONDON, 8 October – Save the Children is deeply saddened by a vote on 7 October at the UN Human Rights Council, which has rejected the renewal of the only independent accountability mechanism on Yemen, the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE).
This is the first time the Human Rights Council has rejected a draft resolution since its creation in 2006. The GEE is the only international, independent and impartial mechanism on Yemen working to monitor and combat violations by all parties to the conflict and provide visibility and deterrence for such violations.
“This is a devastating blow for the people of Yemen, including the millions of vulnerable children who depended on the mechanism for future accountability and justice,” said Xavier Joubert, Save the Children Yemen Country Director.
With Yemen recognised as one of the largest humanitarian crises globally, and constantly teetering on the brink of famine, impunity for violations continues to fuel this man-made crisis.
Over 16 million people face acute food insecurity daily. Yemeni children continue to be killed or maimed because of the brutal conflict.
Over 400,000 are at risk of dying of starvation and malnutrition due to a deteriorating economy and restrictions on food. Schools and health facilities also continue to come under attack.
Mr. Joubert added: “Although 18 states voted in favour of keeping this critical mandate, the harsh reality is that 21 voted against it—severing the only path to international justice for victims of egregious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
“This effectively means that perpetrators of such violations have just been given the green light to continue committing grave violations with complete impunity and little scrutiny from the international community, further undermining the prospects for peace and stability in the country.”
Alastair Russell, Senior Public Affairs Adviser at Save the Children, said:
“The UK’s vote is welcome. As penholder on Yemen at the UN Security Council, the government should now leverage its position to ensure accountability for all violations and abuses against children. An international independent monitoring and reporting mechanism on Yemen should be reinstated immediately.”
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