The war in Yemen continues to be one of the world’s most brutal conflicts. Civilians have borne the brunt of the fighting in what the UN Human Rights Council has called “unrelenting violations of international humanitarian law.” According to the United Nations, since the war broke out in 2015, over 10,000 people have been killed, 45,000 have been wounded, half of the country’s population has been displaced, and nearly 14 million have been pushed to the brink of starvation.
Against this dire backdrop, CIVIC has adopted a multifaceted approach involving government actors, civil society, and communities to strengthen civilian protection. First, CIVIC advocates to the parties with the most influence over conflict dynamics – the US, UN, Saudi-UAE Led Coalition, France, UK, and the internationally-recognized Yemeni government – to get them to agree to a nationwide ceasefire, stop indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, abide by their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, and halt arms transfers and other support to parties to the conflict. Second, CIVIC seeks to improve the knowledge, practices, and skills of nascent security forces in Aden, Al-Jawf, and Marib. And third, CIVIC conducts in-depth community research in five Yemeni governorates – Al-Jawf, Shabwa, Baydha, Taiz, and Hodeidah – to understand civilians’ perspectives and needs when it comes to their protection. This will also allow communities to hold local forces accountable in their operations and to communicate what more is needed to protect them from harm.