Improving the Respect of Humanitarian Norms by Armed Actors in Yemen
The project aims to contribute to the protection of Yemeni civilian population from the effects of armed conflict. The awareness of Yemeni armed non-state actors’ (ANSA) on humanitarian norms, notably on landmines and explosive remnants of war, and children and armed conflict is raised which positively influences standards, policies and practices of armed groups.
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Protection, access & security
- Ansar Allah/Al-Houthis
- The Southern Movement (Al-Hirak)
- Identified potential target groups:
- The different pro-Hadi military forces/Resistance Committees
- Minimum of 10 meetings with representatives of armed actors, and clearly established and sustained communications at least starting from the second year of the project
- To establish a sustained dialogue with the targeted ANSAs on humanitarian norms
- To meet ANSAs’ leaderships and raise their awareness of existing norms
- 4 “Friends of IHL” public events/2 per year
- 16 two-day trainings for 15 people
- 5 CSO initiatives supported for the dissemination of humanitarian norms
- A minimum of 6 public media campaigns
- The changed situation on the ground (broken alliance between Ansar Allah/Al-Houthis and pro-Saleh forces, the pressure from the coalition forces) which made the Ansar Allah/Al-Houthis more reluctant to work on protection issues in general.
- The change of strategy of Geneva Call of advancing with country structures ahead of planned schedule, and the demand from the Northern and Southern authority structures for registration, changed the previously defined modus operandi of initially working out of Geneva. While this worked well in the South, the registration process and direct in-country presence “exposed” Geneva Call to security actors in the North before the relationships could be sufficiently strengthened with the high-level political actors with whom Geneva Call had been in discussions.
- Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation
Now in its fourth year, the war in Yemen has reached a critical juncture. On June 13, 2018, the Saudi-led coalition launched Operation Golden Victory, with the aim of retaking the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah. The Houthis hold the city and the port, which is crucial for the importation of commercial goods and humanitarian aid into Yemen.
The conflict in Yemen, which according to the United Nations has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, continued unabated in recent weeks, piling further pressure on the already-crippled economy. The port city of Hodeidah, which brings most of the food and fuel supplies into the country and is controlled by the Houthi, remains under siege by the Saudi-backed coalition fol-lowing debilitating airstrikes on the city throughout August.
The number of people in need of humanitarian aid has remained quite stable during the last six months. Currently 22.2 million Yemenis or 75% of the population of 29.3 million are affected and need some sort of humanitarian assistance.
Human rights violations have continued to increase due to the absence of rule of law, a functioning security and justice sector. The political developments in Yemen however have further deteriorated since March and both war parties invited to the “consultations” in Geneva by Martin Griffiths announced for beginning of October have downplayed the expectations and prospects for agreements in the first place.
To contribute to the protection of civilians living in areas affected by armed conflict in Yemen.
To promote the respect of IHL and IHRL by armed actors through humanitarian advocacy towards an increased protection of civilians and capacity-building and support of local actors.
Main target groups:
EO1 Awareness of International humanitarian norms is raised among targeted armed actors
EO2 Awareness of international humanitarian norms is raised and consolidated among CSOs/CBOs, traditional/religious, and political leaders, media workers, INGOs and partnerships are established or strengthened with local CBOs/CSOs.
EO3: Awareness of humanitarian norms by the broad civilian population is increased through public media campaigns.
Results from previous phases:
For the current work in Yemen, initiated in mid-2017, given its previous work with Ansar Allah/Al-Houthis, Geneva Call had expected a quicker and more advanced engagement with this actor. This was not possible due the following reasons:
For these reasons, today, Geneva Call's engagement with all armed actors in Yemen is still in “initial engagement”, including with Ansar Allah/Al-Houthis. The focus in the initial engagement step is to raise the awareness of the armed actors and reach acceptance for Geneva Call's work and openness to humanitarian norms, mainly through meetings and awareness-raising sessions.
In December 2017 and in July 2018, Geneva Call activated its Fighter not Killer campaign in Yemen, and the results exceeded all expectations, reaching close to 2’000’000 viewers on Facebook, from which 685’766 people in the North (85% men, 15% women). Local organizations also shared it extensively.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
Dialogue with CIVIC started – complementary project
UN agencies and protection cluster, international and national NGOs, civil society actors, academic and research institutes, ICRC
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 703’254 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 650’000|