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There are too many lost childhoods in Yemen

11 20 13

They spill out into the streets early in the morning; they have small bodies, pale faces and bold features. You might think that they are on their way to school, but a closer look reveals that they are not carrying any school bags or books.

“They” are the children of Yemen who have been pushed by the cruelty of war, hardships and the loss of family breadwinners to leave school and what they love the most, playing with the neighbourhood children in the decaying alleys. Instead, they have to join the workforce in order to scratch a living and provide for their families. The jobs that they do are usually unsuitable for their age, size and physical abilities.

Each one hides within them great tragedy and pain. Some have spent time on the front line, carrying heavy weapons on their tiny shoulders, in a flagrant violation of the rights of a child. You can find others underneath cars, learning how to fix them, with little or no regard for the great danger and risk that this poses. They rarely find anyone to tell them, “Watch out!”

Others can be found wandering the streets in the burning sun that scorches their faces and heads; they search........

© Middle East Monitor