Protection

 

Protection

About 11.3 million people need assistance to protect their safety, dignity or basic rights, including 2.9 million people living in acutely affected areas. Vulnerable people require legal, psychosocial and other services, including child protection and gender-based violence support.

Many of the displaced continue to live with host families, placing additional strain on scarce resources, or renting shelter, which becomes challenging as rental prices increase, displacement becomes protracted, and savings depleted. The escalation of the conflict has exacerbated protection challenges for refugees and asylum seekers, including increasing arbitrary arrest and detention, trafficking and smuggling, as well as military recruitment and participation in hostilities. Many refugees have been struggling with depleted financial means and reduced coping mechanism at their disposal. A number of refugees have been compelled to relocate to rural areas for security reasons.

New arrivals continue to make the perilous journey often on overcrowded smugglers’ boats risking their lives at sea. They land dehydrated, in shock and in need of basic assistance, and further face the risk of abduction, exploitation and insecurity within Yemen or of being transported onward through smuggling and human trafficking networks.

The humanitarian community has developed a national strategy for IDPs and is now developing regional action plans to attend to their specific needs as well as those of the host communities sheltering them.

The conduct of the conflict has been brutal on civilians with all parties failing to take adequate steps to protect civilians or fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. Air strikes hit marketplaces, hospitals and residential areas and indiscriminate shelling was reported in several densely populated areas. As of 1 November, health facilities reported more than 7000 people killed and more than 43,000 injured since mid-March 2015, including more than 3200 children killed or injured.

More than 600 health facilities and 1,600 schools remained closed due to conflict-related damages. A fivefold increase in the recruitment of child soldiers has been documented along with a six-fold increase in the number of children killed or maimed in 2015 as compared to 2014. Close to 2 million children lack education opportunities and are now out of school, further jeopardizing the future of this generation. The humanitarian community echoes the UN Secretary General in calling on regional and international donors to demand parties to the conflict to take specific mitigation actions to protect children in Yemen by upholding their responsibilities under international law.