YEMEN: Children's Rights References in the Universal Periodic Review

Summary: A compilation of extracts featuring child-rights issues from the reports submitted to the second Universal Periodic Review. There are extracts from the 'National Report', the 'Compilation of UN Information' and the 'Summary of Stakeholder's Information'. Also to be included will be the final report and the list of accepted and rejected recommendations.
Yemen - 18th Session - 2014
Wednesday, 29 January, 14:30 - 18:00

National Report

General strategies and policies on the promotion of human rights
38. The Government has taken steps to create such new programmes and strategies as are needed. The most important of these strategies, around which the Government’s efforts revolve, are: a national strategy on microcredit; a national strategy on secondary education; a national strategy on vocational education; a national strategy on higher education; a national strategy on reproductive health; the Fourth Five-Year Plan on Health Development and Poverty Alleviation; a social protection strategy; the National Health Strategy 2010– 2025; programmes to support the education of girls; the National Employment Strategy 2010–2015; the National Youth Employment Plan 2014–2016; the National Strategy for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises 2011–2015; the National Strategy for Development of the Agricultural Sector 2012–2016; the National Food Security Strategy 2010–2015; and the Transitional Programme of the National Consensus Government 2012–2014.
39. The Government has pursued its efforts to meet its obligations in relation to various aspects of human rights by following a range of strategies that are soon to be completed and will then be evaluated. These include the National Strategy for Children and Youth and the
National Strategy for the Advancement of Women 2006–2015.
C. Prisons and prisoners’ rights
51. Act No. 17 of 2012, amending the Prisons Organization Act No. 48 of 1991, as amended, was promulgated with a view to the reform and renovation of prisons in line with international standards. article 29 bis provides that: “Where children are allowed to remain in the institution with their mothers, provision shall be made for nursery facilities.”
52. In practical terms, a juvenile wing has been established in Sana`a Central Prison and equipped to meet the needs of young prisoners.
General policies and procedures for the realization of social, economic and cultural rights
A. Reduction of poverty and unemployment
59. The poverty rate in Yemen is above 52 per cent; in other words, more than 12 million out of a total population of 24 million live in poverty. Prior to the events of 2011, the poverty rate was 39 per cent. Perhaps one of the most stark problems of poverty is the lack of food security; malnutrition rates are high, particularly among women and children. Acute food insecurity is widespread in Yemen, which is 1 of the 11 lowest-ranking countries in the world in terms of food insecurity; Yemen ranks 74th out of 84 countries on the Global Hunger Index.
61. Yemen faces a considerable challenge in the development process because of
unemployment. The unemployment rate among young people (15–24 years) is 52.9 per cent; in the 25–59 year age bracket, it is 44.4 per cent. Unemployment [among children] has increased to 17.8 per cent, according to a survey on child labour: the number of unemployed has risen from 689,000 to 900,000, according to the latest survey. During 2011, unemployment rose because a number of investment projects were suspended; many workers were laid off and some enterprises cut down on working hours and only paid partial salaries.
E. Education
73. The State has continued to implement the National Basic Education Development Strategy 2003–2015, as well as the General Strategic Programme and numerous other programmes devoted to the promotion of equality and non-discrimination, particularly in the areas of enrolment and quality improvements. Other programmes are designed specifically for children with special needs and children from poor families in urban and rural areas. The Ministry of Education contributes to a number of special educational programmes for refugee children, in cooperation with other organizations and entities. The General Strategic Programme comprises a number of programmes to reform and improve basic education, together with programmes to develop and define strategic performance outcomes for basic education, and the National Secondary Education Development strategy. The policies and programmes to improve education in Yemen include the following goals:
• Finding effective solutions for children deprived of basic education, particularly girls in rural areas;
• Making basic education compulsory and reducing absenteeism and dropout rates in basic education;
• Developing criteria for the selection of qualified, skilled administrators and managers to run educational institutions;
• Applying quality standards across the various stages and types of education;
• Improving and continuing to develop and evaluate school curriculums; improving teaching methods;
• Promoting active partnership between the State, civil society and the private sector;
• Providing premises, furniture and school equipment to keep pace with the rise in pupil numbers;
• Developing high-quality faculties that teach courses to meet the needs of the local and regional labour markets.
74. Despite growing efforts in recent years to mainstream gender in the planning of educational development programmes, a range of social, economic, cultural and other factors continue to hamper the emergence of a rapid and integrated educational renaissance that would supply the requirements for development, in the full, human sense of the term, and eliminate the vast and persistent disparities between the sexes as regards access to basic education and the ability to pursue education at all levels.
75. A total of 1,701,889 girls were enrolled in school in the year 2008/09, or 65 per cent of girls in the age group 6–14 years. The enrolment rate for girls increased to 72.83 per cent in 2011/12, in comparison with 81.87 per cent for boys in the same age group. The gender gap in education was 0.81 in the same year.
76. In 2011, there were 3,369 literacy centres in Yemen; 311 literacy courses were taught by male teachers and 5,843 by female teachers. In 2010/11, there were 6,901 teachers in total and 159,740 students enrolled in basic, complementary and qualifying literacy classes or literacy classes for women; of those students, 96 per cent were women and only 4 per cent were men. Sixty-nine per cent of programme participants were from rural areas; of that group, 95 per cent were women.
77. The situation in Yemen in recent years and its impact on education should be noted. Education at all levels has been disrupted or brought to a halt at some point since 2011 because of strikes and demonstrations by education professionals demanding better living conditions. Moreover, armed conflict in different parts of Yemen have meant that schools and universities have either been targeted or used for purposes other than education.
(See Annex 2, Education statistics and indicators.)
F. Public health
80. The Government of Yemen is implementing a series of measures to improve physical and mental health, to reduce the prevalence of endemic and widespread diseases, to raise immunization rates, and to reduce the malnutrition rate. It is also endeavouring to: raise coverage rates for reproductive health and family planning; prevent anaemia (iron deficiency) by fortifying flour; provide essential medicines to health facilities; raise awareness of health and population issues; and strengthen institutions in the health sector through training and skills upgrades.
81. In addition, the Government is strengthening emergency services, through, inter alia, the delivery of basic services, medical camps, medicines and medical supplies, with a focus on priority areas. The Ministry of Health has adopted protocols for the treatment of malnutrition, with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It has done so through the establishment of therapeutic feeding programmes (therapeutic feeding centres (TFC) and outpatient treatment programmes (OTP)) for the treatment of acute cases of malnutrition with or without complications, in addition to supplementary feeding programmes (SFP) for the treatment of moderate malnutrition at health centres and hospitals.
Measures to promote the rights of specific groups
B. Children
96. The Cabinet issued Decision No. 193 of 2013, approving a joint action plan by the Government of the Republic of Yemen and the United Nations on the recruitment of children to the Armed Forces. The objective is to prevent and put an end to this practice, to demobilize child soldiers and to support their reintegration. The Cabinet issued Order No. 1 of 2013 on a review of the status of implementation by Yemen of its obligations to end child exploitation. It established a ministerial committee to study decisions put forward on measures to prohibit the involvement of children in armed conflict.
97. The Cabinet issued Decision No. 212 of 2012, endorsing the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups.
98. The Minister of Justice issued a decision establishing a technical committee specialized in forensics to determine the age of children who have been sentenced to death. The committee has trained 11 physicians in age determination techniques and has revised the manual and guidelines for physicians and other health personnel on the identification of violence and abuse against children, women and older persons. In order to eliminate any duplication or contradiction in legal texts — including, in particular, in relation to the determination of the age of a juvenile — a new bill has been drafted merging the Juvenile Act with the Rights of the Child Act.
99. Twenty-one expert social workers were engaged to study and analyse juvenile cases and to assist children and juveniles, as well as judges prior to sentencing. Contracts have been concluded with 16 lawyers to assist minors at police stations and prosecutors’ offices, to defend them in the juvenile courts and to develop guidelines for prosecutors and juvenile judges in conducting investigations and trials of juveniles in line with current legislation and international treaties.
100. With regard to protection of children from the risk of the death penalty, there is no article in Yemeni law that authorizes the imposition of a death sentence on juveniles. This is in accordance with article 36 of the Juvenile Welfare Act. Persons suffering from a mental impairment may not be sentenced to death, as stated in articles 33 and 34 of the Republican Decree on Offences and Penalties and in article 4 of the Juvenile Welfare Act.
101. Yemen has taken various measures and initiatives to define marriageable age and to protect children from the risks associated with early marriage. These measures include the following:
• A bill was drafted setting the minimum age for marriage. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives in February 2009 but has yet to be promulgated or to enter into force. The Ministry of Human Rights is working with the authorities to ensure that the law is promulgated and that it does enter into force. The issue of early marriage has been raised at the National Dialogue Conference and, in a resolution, the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms reaffirmed the need to comply with international standards on the minimum age for marriage and to define the minimum age in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
• The Minister of Justice issued a circular in which registrars were instructed to refuse to register the marriage of any person under 17 years of age;
• Government institutions, including the Ministry of Health and Population Affairs, and non-governmental organizations have undertaken numerous activities to raise awareness of the problem of early marriage. The Technical Working Group on Reproductive Health, which was established by the Ministry of Health and Population Affairs, deals with issues that affect young people, including early marriage;
• The National Commission for Women conducted a study in 2008 on the definition of marriageable age and another study, in 2011, on the risks associated with early marriage and early pregnancy;
• An advocacy committee known as “Government bodies, civil society organizations” was established in the framework of the National Child Protection Network. It carries out advocacy work on three main issues that affect children in Yemen, namely, early marriage, violence in schools, and birth registration. Four lawyers have been contracted to act on behalf of impoverished women whose cases are brought before the courts in the governorates of Aden, Hadramawt, Ta`izz and Al-Hudaydah. In 2010, the Ministry of Health issued a circular stating that it is unlawful to perform female excision operations in health centres and informing the public of the risks associated with the practice and of the prohibition on the performance of female excision procedures outside health-care facilities;
• The Government, in cooperation with UNICEF, is conducting a review of the current legislation on children and will make proposals on new draft legislation to be developed in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The draft legislation will be presented to the Government for adoption and will be transmitted to the Cabinet for endorsement. Under article 21 of the Children’s Bill, children have the right to protection from the practice of early marriage and the State must take all necessary administrative and legal measures to prevent early marriage in accordance with the law and to punish wrongdoers. The State also has a duty to raise awareness of the health and social risks that early marriage poses for children and for society in general.
102. A number of restrictive measures have been imposed on mixed marriages in order to prevent so-called “tourist marriages”. In the first place, approval must be obtained from the Yemeni Ministry of Interior and the embassy of the prospective spouse in order to ensure that the marriage does not involve any form of trafficking in girls and that it is not a “tourist marriage”. More than 150 cases of violations involving mixed marriages have been investigated and the perpetrators have been punished or put on trial.
103. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour Child Trafficking Unit and its local offices in the governorates have conducted many studies and a large quantity of field research with the aim of combating child trafficking, establishing a database on child trafficking and building the capacities of those who work in this field. The Unit continuously raises awareness in communities of the gravity of child trafficking and organizes activities and events to curb the spread of trafficking across the country.
104. The Government, in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), conducted the first comprehensive, nationwide field survey on street children in 2009–
2010. The goal was to establish a database that could be used to help define the scale of the problem.
105. With regard to the reduction of infant mortality rates, there are more than 4,589,280 children under 5 years of age in Yemen. The country has managed to significantly reduce neonatal, infant and under-5 mortality rates: the infant mortality rate fell from 90 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 57 per 1,000 live births in 2010 and the under-5 mortality rate fell from 128 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 77 in 2010, a decrease of 2.5 per cent over the period. Moreover, the crude birth rate dropped to 35.9 per cent in 2010–2015, down from 37.9 per cent in 2005–2010. The birth rate is expected to reach 27.7 per cent by the end of 2020–2025.
106. The vital statistics records in Yemen (data on births, deaths, marriages and divorces) are incomplete for a number of reasons, including pervasive shortcomings in the civil registry system and a lack of public awareness of the importance of registering vital events. The available statistics show that birth registration rates improved in 2010, in comparison with 2009, but the situation deteriorated in 2011, owing to the state of affairs at that time in Yemen.
108. Governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations have taken steps to promote the registration of births and to make this a universal practice at the national level:
• Birth certificates have been issued free of charge for all children born in Yemen since 2007, pursuant to a decision of the Yemeni Government;
• The elements of a project for the issuance of online certificates for births and other vital events were designed with support from the Social Fund for Development and UNICEF. A pilot project run at Al-Saba` in Hospital and the Hospital of Science and
Technology has been successful. Under the project, birth certificates will be available online across the country (central and governorate levels) within 10 years;
• Ten workshops were held to raise awareness at the national level of the importance of birth registration;
• A national workshop was held to prepare a manual of procedures for registering births and other vital events;
• Preparations are under way for the opening of 10 centres to issue online birth certificates in four governorates.
109. With support from UNICEF, a national observatory for children’s rights is being established to: provide statistics on the situation of children; monitor and follow up on cases of abuse; conduct periodic visits to children’s institutions; and liaise with governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations on related activities.
Cooperation with United Nations mechanisms
125. Compliance with the obligation to report to treaty bodies:
• The fourth periodic report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child was submitted in 2009;
• The initial report of Yemen on the involvement of children in armed conflict was submitted in 2010;
126. Ratification of, and accession to, international human rights treaties:
• Cabinet Decision No. 129 of 2013, concerning endorsement of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure.

UN Compilation

I. Background and framework
A. Scope of international obligations1
2. UNCT recommended ratifying OP-CEDAW and OP-CAT. CAT also recommended ratifying OP-CAT15 and making the declarations envisaged under articles 21 and 22 of the Convention. UNCT and the Human Rights Committee (HR Committee) encouraged Yemen to ratify ICCPR-OP 2 and ICCPR-OP 1.  The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and UNCT urged Yemen to ratify OP-ICESCR.18 UNCT urged Yemen to expedite ratification of OP-CRC-IC.
4. In 2009, the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and UNCT encouraged Yemen to ratify the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto.
B. Constitutional and legislative framework
7. The United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights (Deputy High Commissioner) noted that human rights must be taken into consideration in the upcoming constitutional process, particularly those of women, children and marginalized communities, particularly the Muhammasheen.
8. CRC urged Yemen to finish harmonizing its legislation with OP-CRC-SC.
9. UNCT was concerned by the absence of a constitutional framework to ensure children’s rights and the lack of a clear, consistent and unified definition of the child in all legal texts, which sometimes resulted in interpretative judgments. UNCT noted that in 2012, the Government had reviewed national laws concerning children; it urged Yemen to adopt constitutional provisions upholding children’s rights and ensuring their enforcement.
C. Institutional and human rights infrastructure and policy measures
13. CRC recommended that Yemen ensure that the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood had adequate authority and resources. It welcomed the adoption of the National Strategy for Youth and Children, and recommended that Yemen consider elaborating a national plan of action targeting issues covered by OP-CRC-SC.
II. Cooperation with human rights mechanisms
14. OHCHR recommended enhancing cooperation with the United Nations, including by implementing the recommendations of the treaty bodies, the universal periodic review, the special procedures and the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.
III. Implementation of international human rights obligations, taking into account applicable international humanitarian law
A. Equality and non-discrimination
21. UNCT reported that credible indicators revealed that discrimination persisted against vulnerable children like marginalized dark-skinned children (Muhamesheen), migrants, street children and children with disabilities.
B. Right to life, liberty and security of the person
23. The HR Committee remained concerned that the law de facto permitted the imposition of the death penalty on persons below 18 years of age at the time of the alleged commission of the offence, and about reports that a proposed amendment to the Penal Code might allow the death penalty to be used against children. It called on Yemen to revise its death penalty legislation so that it complied with the Covenant, and to officially abolish the sentence and execution of death by stoning. CAT raised similar concerns and recommendations. UNCT called for an immediate suspension of all unfair and inhumane death sentences, and urged the President to ensure that all cases of juveniles under the age of 18 at the time they were accused of infringing penal law were tried by specialized juvenile courts, not ordinary courts. The Deputy High Commissioner noted that OHCHR maintained its position that the death penalty should be abolished; until then, Yemen should ensure that the death penalty was not applied to minors.
24. In 2012 and 2013, special procedures mandate holders sent communications regarding alleged executions or risk of executions of minors. A communication sent in December 2012 expressed concern at the alleged risk of 23 executions and 2 executions in 2012 of individuals who were minors at the time of the alleged offence. In 2013, a second communication was sent regarding the alleged risk of execution of a juvenile offender. In 2013, the Special Rapporteur on summary executions regretted that the Government had not responded to those communications and called on the authorities to stay all executions that might be carried out in contravention of international human rights law, ensure a thorough review of all cases and consider commuting the death sentences.
34. UNCT stated that between July 2011 and March 2013, about 564 children had been killed or injured due to, or in relation to, armed conflicts.
35. The HR Committee was seriously concerned about reports revealing the use of children to man military checkpoints and protect protesters during the 2011 unrest, and recommended prohibiting the use of child soldiers. The report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG) welcomed progress made to accelerate the restructuring of the military and establish appropriate age verification procedures in recruitment centres and screening of all underage recruits. The SRSG encouraged all stakeholders to consider children’s issues and needs in the context of the National Dialogue and encouraged Yemen to finalize an action plan to address the recruitment and use of children by government forces, in line with Security Council resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011), and to ratify the proposed amendments to five relevant military laws and allocate adequate resources for their effective implementation. The ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations also expressed serious concern about children being recruited for use in armed conflict. The High Commissioner for Human Rights recommended that government forces and armed opposition groups take immediate measures to end the use and recruitment of children and demobilize those who had already been recruited.
36. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) acknowledged progress towards universal primary education and gender parity, but noted that around one fifth of boys and one quarter of girls were still involved in child labour. CRC and CESCR recommended that Yemen criminalize the offering, delivering or accepting of a child for the purpose of forced labour.
44. CRC recommended that Yemen criminalize the sale of children for the purpose of transfer of organs for profit, and bring perpetrators to justice. CRC further recommended that Yemen criminalize the sexual exploitation of children conducted under the guise of “tourist marriages” or “temporary marriages”. The ILO Committee of Experts recommended direct assistance for the identification and removal of child victims of trafficking and for their rehabilitation and social integration.
C. Administration of justice, including impunity and the rule of law
52. CRC recommended that Yemen establish jurisdiction over all offences under OPCRC- SC, including in all cases when the victim was one of its nationals. CRC urged Yemen ensure that child victims of such crimes were properly identified and not subject to fines or sentenced to imprisonment.
D. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
55. UNHCR and CRC urged Yemen to ensure that all births were registered. CRC further urged Yemen to prohibit charging fees for birth registration in law and in practice.
H. Right to health
73. UNCT noted that child marriage was a major factor in malnutrition, and chronic malnutrition had reached 61.4 per cent in 2011. The World Food Programme and other aid agencies had stated that 1 million children would become acutely malnourished in 2012.
I. Right to education
76. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict was concerned about attacks on schools. UNCT indicated that 242 such attacks had been reported between July 2011 and March 2013, 239 of which had been verified.
77. UNCT reported that following the 2011 crisis, net enrolment in basic schools had declined to 73 per cent (80 per cent for boys and 66 per cent for girls). Several treaty bodies and UNCT recommended that Yemen take urgent steps to ensure girls’ and women’s literacy and education.
78. UNESCO reported that poverty drove both boys and girls into employment, because of household cash needs or because parents could not afford education fees. While 70 per cent of male child labourers attended school, only 52 per cent of females did.

Stakeholders Compilation

C. Implementation of international human rights obligations
17. AI and JS5 noted that women and girls face severe and widespread discrimination in law and practice. They recommended Yemen to: protect them from domestic violence and investigate all cases; ensure that forced marriages are prohibited in all circumstances; in the case of the marriage of a child under the age of 18, Yemen must establish that the child gives full, free and informed consent and has sufficient mental capacity to fully comprehend the consequences and obligations of marriage and that they are not forced to drop school.
21. CRIN noted that it is illegal to sentence a child offender under domestic law to death or life imprisonment. CRIN, AI, JS3 and HRW noted that State prosecutors have urged judges to impose death sentences on almost 200 other suspected juvenile offenders. Some juvenile offenders on death row informed that police had beaten and tortured them in detention to coerce confessions, and that their access to legal representation during investigations was denied. CRIN, AI, JS3 and HRW called on ceasing juvenile executions and a halt on applying the death penalty to juveniles while reviewing all death sentences, and commute those sentences in cases where the offender’s age cannot be determined.
28. JS1 reported that children from the Muhammasheen community face daily violence, exclusions and dehumanizing persecutions, and death threats. It recommended introducing legislative and policy measures for their protection.
29. GIEACP noted that the Juvenile Welfare Act (article 14) prohibits the mistreatment of juveniles and the use of physical coercion when enforcing court rulings, though does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment. GIEACP and CRIN observed that the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure allow sentences of retribution (qisas) and doctrinal punishment (hadd). The Criminal Procedure Code sets out the conditions under which doctrinal and retribution-in-kind sentences, including amputation and flogging, should be imposed. JS6, JS7 and GIEACP hoped that recommendations be made to prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings.
30. JS6 reported that early marriage is widely practiced and recommended a comprehensive study at the national level. JS5 observed that the Personal Status Law (1994) has set the minimum age for marriage at 15, but the 1999 amendments are not clear on this issue. In 2009, human rights organizations and activists organized campaigns to demand the minimum age of marriage be raised to 18. This led to a bill raising the minimum age for girls to 17. However, this bill has not yet been signed by the President of the Republic. JS5 urged the President to sign it urgently.
32. JS5 reported that despite the ratification of CRC and article 30 of the Constitution, Yemeni girls remain victims of female genital mutilation: about 97% of females in the Hodeidah district and 75.8% in Hadramout district were subject to this. This is also practiced in some inland districts like Lahg, Dhamar, and Taiz as part of prevailing customs and traditions. JS5 recommended: criminalizing this practice and enforcing articles 41 and 42 of the Penal Code.
33. JS3 noted that although Yemen has ratified the two key ILO conventions on child labor, 17 per cent of Yemen’s 7.7 million children in the 5-17 age group and 11 per cent of those aged 5-11 are involved in child labor.
4. Right to privacy, marriage and family life
42. JS5 observed that Law 25 in 2010 granted Yemeni nationality automatically to any child of a Yemeni mother or father married to a foreigner. However, as of 2010, if a Yemeni male wish to marry a foreigner, he must only notify the Ministry of Interior, while if a Yemeni woman wishes to marry a foreigner, she has to receive a formal approval from the Ministry. This creates uncertainty that, without this approval, her children will not be given Yemeni nationality, even if born and living in Yemen. JS5 stated that this law violates articles 25 and 41 of the Constitution, and recommended the repeal of this discriminatory provision.
50. JS6 noted that child labor has increased significantly after the Gulf War. It noted that among the factors behind this increase is the economic deterioration, the shift towards a market economy, the privatization of the public sector institutions, rapid population growth, poverty, lack of employment opportunities and political instability and insecurity in the last three years. A National Survey in 2010 showed that 21% of the children (1,614,000) are working children. Labor Law No. 5 1995 did not specify the minimum age for child work. Moreover, in the last decade, many related issues, such as child exploitation in forced begging and cross border trafficking, have become aggravated by the unstable political situations. Many children are either separated from their parents, or sent away to find food, or even involved in acting as messengers or bring food to opposition armed forces in order to earn a living. JS6 recommended the review of labor law to eliminate child exploitation and provide strict penalties for offenders, increase the minimum age for work to 18 years.
8. Right to health
57. JS3 and JS6 noted that stunting remains a critical problem in Yemen. 58 per cent of children under 5 are suffering from stunting. Malnutrition is one of the prevailing health problems, nearly one million child under five suffer from severe malnutrition and 250,000 children are at risk of death due to absence of medication and the under-five mortality rate stands 77 per 1000 live births. JS3 hoped that Yemen be urged to allocate more managed resources to the health sector to increase the quality of the services and ensure availability and accessibility for all citizens; and tackle access to water and malnutrition as core problems of the right to health.
58. JS3 noted that nearly half of primary school age girls do not go to school and thus two out of three women in Yemen are illiterate, with child marriages as a root cause. It urged resolving the lack of accessibility, socio-cultural factors and institutional factors.
59. JS5 noted that the illiteracy rate among women in Yemen is 60.1% versus 27.3% of males and in rural areas estimated to be 80.56%, while in urban areas, 40.25%. It noted that the lack of a compulsory education low especially for girls in rural areas contributes significantly to women’s lack of opportunity in the labor market overall. JS5 recommended finding the appropriate mechanisms to ensure the activation of the Compulsory Education Law.
60. JS1 reported that children from Muhammasheen cannot attend public schools due to common violent and de-humiliating practices, in addition to economic difficulties. About 98% of them never graduate but mostly drop out way before completing 3rd grade. JS1 recommended providing free education to them at least in the elementary stage; restoring the freedom of movement for this community so they can choose to live close to schools; and building schools close to the areas where they live.
61. JS6 observed that the Constitution and the General Education Law No. 45 guarantee the right to education for all and the principle of free and compulsory education until age of 15. Nevertheless, the law is not implemented. Less than 12% of the government budget goes to education, of which 70% goes to wages and salaries. Reportedly, 2 million school-age children (46%) do not attend schools. JS6 noted concerns regarding teachers’ training and qualification, lack of textbooks and school equipment, teaching methodology, and overcrowding in classes. Moreover, the political crisis and armed conflicts have greatly undermined the educational process and schooling. JS6 recommended implementation of free fees education decree in 50 districts as first phase by 2016.


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