Middle East

Wed
22
Oct
2014
New translation available
Submitted by hannah

Photo: YPJ soldier, Hevedar Mohammed, aged 12. Image Credit: Marie Claire.

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Mon
20
Apr

Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs

By Charlene Rodrigues and Mohammed Al-Qalisi, The Independent

With schools forced to close, children as young as seven have been recruited by the Shia Houthi rebels.

At the entrance of Bab Al-Yemen, Old Sanaa, a waif-like Hassan, dwarfed by his Kalashnikov, stands at a checkpoint. His dark eyes scan vehicles as they pass through.

Like most seven-year-olds in Sanaa, Hassan used to spend his time at school – or playing table football with his friends. That was until three weeks ago.

Mon
13
Apr

Child soldiers fighting on the frontline in Yemen

Aden has become a theatre of bloody urban warfare as Houthi rebels and backers of president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi battle for control of the city in southern Yemen. Since fighting first broke out in mid-March, several amateur videos have surfaced showing child soldiers battling on the frontline on both sides.

These striking images were filmed at night and posted on YouTube on March 31. They show youths battling Shiite Houthi rebels in the streets of Aden, a port city located around 500 km south of the capital Sanaa. One of our Observers on the ground confirmed that teenagers aged between 15 to 17 years old were fighting in the ranks of so-called "popular committees", paramilitary units that back the country's beleaguered president.

Click here to read more. 

Fri
10
Apr

One third of combatants in Yemen are children: UNICEF

Photo: AP

The United Nations Children's Fund has expressed concern over the use of large number of child fighters by armed groups in Yemen. 

"Up to a third of combatants in armed groups in conflict-torn Yemen are children...I have been myself held up at checkpoints by children who were 14, 15 and sometimes even little younger," UNICEF's Representative in Yemen Julien Harneis told The Anadolu Agency in Geneva.

Motivated by money and with the aim of defending families or tribes as part of their culture in the poorest country of the Middle East, an increasing number of children are being recruited by Yemen's warring factions.

"It is a cultural issue...In Yemen, in many parts of the country, it is considered to be normal, if not a good thing, to pick up a gun and be able to contribute to the defense of your family and tribe," Harneis said.

Wed
01
Apr

At least 62 children killed in Yemen in past week: UNICEF

Photo: Reuters

The violence is leaving children terrified and more of them are being recruited as child soldiers, UNICEF said.

At least 62 children have been killed and 30 injured in Yemen over the past week as fighting has escalated with a Saudi-led air campaign, the UN children's agency UNICEF said Tuesday.

"Children are in desperate need of protection, and all parties to the conflict should do all in their power to keep children safe," said UNICEF's representative for Yemen, Julien Harneis.

Fighting has escalated sharply in Yemen after a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes five days ago to block an advance by Shiite rebels know as Huthis.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon separately said he was "deeply concerned" by reports of numerous civilian deaths from the military campaign including an attack on Monday on a camp for displaced people that left dozens dead.

Tue
14
Oct

Making Militarism Visible: slideshow

This powerpoint presentation is a version of an exhibition, built by New Profile, which highlights the everyday militarism of Israeli society. The exhibition is also available in Arabic and French. You can download the powerpoint here.

Mon
15
Sep

Selling Israeli Militarism Like Toothpaste

From children's shows to national war drills, a discussion on militarism in Israeli society and gender equality in the army.
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On Wednesday, June 22nd, Israel held the largest war exercise in its history. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky interviewed Rela Mazali, the founder of New Profile, an organization working to demilitarize Israeli society, and Alex Cohn, a war resister who served five months for objecting to serve in the army. Cohn analyses a children's show that portrays a typical interaction between soldiers and Israeli children as part

Selling Israeli Militarism Like Toothpaste
Tue
05
Aug

"Maybe We Live and Maybe We Die": Recruitment and Use of Children by Armed Groups in Syria

From Human Rights Watch

The 31-page report documents the experiences of 25 children and former child soldiers in Syria’s armed conflict. Human Rights Watch interviewed children who fought with the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front coalition, and the extremist groups ISIS and Jabaht al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, as well as the military and police forces in Kurdish-controlled areas. The report does not, for logistical and security reasons, cover all armed groups that allegedly have used children in Syria, in particular pro-government militias. Using children in armed conflict violates international law.

Read the full report: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/06/23/maybe-we-live-and-maybe-we-die-0

Tue
18
Mar

Israel Bans Activists From High School Civil Rights Debates

Young Israeli women who refused to serve in the IDF

New Profile -

New Profile, the feminist movement to civil-ize Israeli society, wrote Minister of Education, Gideon Saar, this morning, strongly condemning his recent instructions to prohibit its members' participation in high school debates convened by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) on questions of human rights and freedom of expression.

New Profile wrote the minister that his act had exposed the government's true stand on civil rights and freedom of expression, also belying the Education Ministry's professed respect for tolerance.

“The minister's step was taken in tandem with the decision he took to send yet more military personnel into schools—a move designed to increase enthusiasm for fighting,” New Profile advised in its letter.

Fri
07
Mar

Quotes from WRI's Countering the Militarisation of Youth conference: Resistance

I as Director of the Vocational Training Centre for former Child Soldiers implemented programmes for UNICEF including how to get children who were caught up in the war back into the mainstream of life – to get them back into school or vocational activities...Reduce or eliminate all sort of inequalities and violence will be reduced. If there is no violence, there would be no need for child soldiers... - Domino Frank Suleiman, Liberia

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