18000 Child Soldiers Have Been Recruited By Houthis Since 2014
A senior military official of Houthi rebels has confirmed that at least 18000 child soldiers have been inducted by the rebel group. This is the first time the rebel group has revealed the number of child soldiers they have recruited to fight the Yemen War.
The military insurgent, who also pleaded anonymity, said that the recruitment started as early as 2014.
Previously, the United Nations revealed that 2721 children were recruited to fight the war for every side. The officials acknowledged that the verified number is likely to be low as many families did not provide the correct information out of fear. The organization was, however, always sure that the majority of child soldiers are recruited by the Houthis.
It has been reported that some of the child soldiers join the rebels voluntarily. It is assumed that money and the ability to wield a gun is the primary motivation of them to join the rebels. Other soldiers, however, said that they have been forced to join the rebel in exchange for a detained family member or abducted from their homes or schools by the rebels. In the capital of Yemen, the Houthi rebels knock every home to threat the parents that they must turn their boys to the rebels or pay money to support the war.
The topic of the child soldiers is untouchable even to the relief workers. A worker of International Relief Agency has said that they cannot say anything about the child soldiers out of fear of retaliation by the rebels. It was reported that if the workers say anything about the child soldiers they will be prevented to provide relief to the Houthi controlled territory of Yemen.
As per the October report of the United Nations, more than 6000 children have been maimed due to the war. The agency, however, has been unable to determine how many of them are victims of the war.