HRC46 Joint statement calling for an international mechanism aimed at ensuring criminal accountability for international crimes committed in Yemen, and reparations to civilian victims

Press release

UN Human Rights Council 46th Session
ID on oral update of GEE on Yemen (res. 45/15)
25 February 2021

Madam President,

We thank the Group of Eminent Experts for their recommendations on achieving justice and redress for victims of violations in Yemen, and call on member states to urgently take up the GEE’s recommendations to “help bridge the acute accountability gap”, including by exploring the establishment of international mechanisms aimed at ensuring criminal accountability for international crimes committed in Yemen, and reparations to civilian victims.

For over six years, the world has watched as war has torn Yemen apart and devastated its people. Impunity for war crimes and other violations of international law continue to fuel the conflict, creating the world’s "largest man-made humanitarian catastrophe".

Since October 2020, the immeasurable and prolonged suffering of civilians in Yemen remains unredressed. Enabled by impunity, warring parties continue to commit violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Attacks on Aden airport and on a wedding hall in Hodeida, shelling attacks in Taiz, and the current armed clashes in Marib, are clear indicators that the international community must take urgent and concrete action towards securing accountability and redress for Yemen.

We call on states to take effective measures to protect civilians in Yemen, particularly in Marib, home to many of Yemen’s internally displaced people, whose lives are in grave danger as the city is now witnessing significant military escalation following an Ansar Allah attack. We further call on states to respond to the arbitrary detention of journalists, media workers, and activists, and the continuity of unfair trials. Civil society must be enabled to carry out its important work in Yemen, including monitoring and documenting human rights violations.

As the warring parties continue to perpetrate serious violations, the fate of millions rests in part upon whether or not the international community will heed the calls of the GEE and take adequate steps to address Yemen’s "pandemic of impunity."

We further call on states to continue supporting the GEE, including by providing sufficient resources to continue its work documenting and reporting on human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen to the UN Human Rights Council.

Thank you.

Read more