CWRU Law’s Yemen Accountability Project Publishes 4th Annual White Paper Analyzing the Impact of the Civil War on Yemen’s Youngest Victims

Villagers scour rubble for belongings scattered during the bombing of Hajar Aukaish - Yemen - in April 2015

Over 11,000 children dead or injured, 13 million in need of humanitarian assistance, 9.2 million without access to drinking water, 2 million out of school, 3,904 recruited to fight, and the Traumatization of War -- this is the reality of children living through Yemen’s civil war.  

The Yemen Accountability Project’s fourth white paper examines the various areas in which the Yemen Civil War has impacted Yemen’s children and the legal provisions under both international human rights law (“IHRL”) and international humanitarian law (“IHL”) that were violated with respect to Yemen’s youngest victims. In addition to unlawful targeting and indiscriminate killing of children during armed attacks, the 34-page white paper examines the ways in which the parties to the Yemen conflict have caused a decline in children’s physical and mental health, interfered with access to childhood education, worsened poverty levels, perpetuated the prevalence of forced child marriage, displaced children from their families, and forced children to serve as soldiers throughout the Yemen conflict.

Based on this evidence, the white paper concludes that the parties to the conflict (the Saudi-led Coalition, Houthis, and Yemeni government) have violated their obligations to protect children under IHL and IHRL. The perpetrators of these violations must face justice, mitigate their violations’ adverse effects, and provide relief to children in Yemen. The purpose of the white paper is to provide evidence of IHRL and IHL violations involving children and offer potential avenues for accountability. 

Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Yemen Accountability Project (YAP)—supported by an annual grant from alumnus Tim Geisse (LAW ‘84)—is entering its sixth year this fall. Overseen by James Johnson, director of the war crimes research office at CWRU, and directed by third-year law student Jessica Chapman, the YAP is a student-led initiative that documents and analyzes war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Yemen Civil War.  YAP’s three previous white papers have focused on: “Aiding and Abetting: Holding States, Corporations, and Individuals Accountable for War Crimes in Yemen” (September 2020); "Starvation: Building the Case for Prosecuting Starvation Crimes in Yemen" (April 2021); and "Cultural Property: Building the Case for Prosecuting the Destruction of Cultural Property in Yemen" (January 2022)