Yemeni children smuggled to Saudi Arabia [Archives:2004/789/Local News]

November 11 2004

Security forces stationed on the border with Saudi Arabia have thwarted an attempt by gangs to smuggle 50 children, since Ramadan, say officials.
The source explained to media that the children who were taken from smugglers were aged between 8 and 15.
Yemeni officials at Haradh border area with Saudi Arabia, where many smuggling gangs practice their activities, had asked the government and civic and international organizations to step up their efforts to put an end to such a phenomenon. They also called for conducting field studies to explore reasons and actual motives behind this phenomenon as a prelude for tackling it.
International observers had stressed earlier this year that indicators concerning the phenomenon of smuggling children from Yemen to Saudi Arabia had reached a rate of 50,000 children from both sexes and whose ages range between 7 to 15 years.
A report prepared by the UNICEF on this phenomenon revealed that its rate was increasing and causing great concern. It also mentioned that the Yemeni authorities were in not in possession of real indicators about this growing phenomenon.
A Yemeni security official had called for annexing the border guard to the Ministry of Interior, instead of the Ministry of Defense to help them perform their tasks easier.
A Yemeni MP has mentioned that many smuggled Yemeni children during 2004 are from the areas of Haradh, close to the borders with Saudi Arabia, and from Aflah Al-Sham in the province of Al-Mahweet.
Many reports indicate the majority of children smuggled into the KSA are treated in an ugly and inhumane way and are being exposed to rape or serve in houses as servants or employed as shepherds.