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Estonia Supports UN in Fighting Against Child Trafficking in Yemen

30.12.2011

No. 424-E

The Foreign Ministry is donating 50 000 euros through the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF to support the organisation’s activities in ensuring that children who have been separated from their parents and have no guardian receive the necessary humanitarian aid for survival as well as protection from violence and from becoming victims of human trafficking. The UNICEF project aims to help at least 1200 Yemeni children as well as children that have fled from Somalia.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and the country has been in crisis for decades. “For years the security and humanitarian situation there has been very complicated, and as a result of the Arab Spring and the protests that were held against the government leaders in February and March the situation has grown even worse,” said Paet. The foreign minister added that due to the significant worsening of the security situation, the weakness of the governing system, and tremendous economic problems, violence against children and trafficking of children is widespread in Yemen. “Therefore it is essential for the international community to act quickly and take concrete steps to aid and protect the children of Yemen,” he noted.

Prior to the protests half the children of Yemen suffered from malnourishment; currently the situation is even worse.

In connection with famine in the Horn of Africa, the number of refugees in Yemen has doubled over the past year and every year nearly 1000 refugees arrive in Yemen from Africa. The constantly increasing flow of refugees and the worsening of the economic situation in Yemen have increased Yemen’s need for humanitarian aid even more.

According to a study done by the International Organisation for Migration in 2011, 50% of refugees are victims of human trafficking or violence by the local authorities, and women and young boys and girls are also the victims of sexual abuse.

In 2012 the budget for the UN’s humanitarian aid programme for Yemen is 447 million US dollars, which is 54% greater than what was required in 2011.

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