The Republic of Yemen
Last edited: November 2005
Summary and Analysis
Our research revealed nothing that spoke to Yemen’s implementation of Article 12 of the CRC with regard to the rights of children to be heard in protective proceedings. Though the Rights of Child Act (2002) ostensibly puts Yemen in full compliance with Article 12, our research uncovered in the Yemeni legal system nothing that resembled a child protective proceeding. Since we were unable to locate the Yemeni Civil Code, it is possible that a child protective system exists. Nevertheless, all of our research suggests that this is highly unlikely.
The Republic of Yemen did not exist in its current form until May 22, 1991 when north and south Yemen, the Yemen Arab Republic (YAR) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), respectively, united. Less than a year later, the newly formed Republic of Yemen ratified the CRC with no reservations on May 1, 1991. However, national implementation of the CRC’s provisions did not begin for several years. In 1994, Yemen broke into a civil war between the north and south in which northern forces prevailed. 1994 also saw the drafting of the Yemeni constitution.
Article 30 of the Yemeni Constitution provides that: “The state shall protect mothers and children, and shall sponsor the young.” Article 6 of the Rights of the Child Act provides that “any authority” making decisions about family law must make the protection of children his first priority. Article 7 of the Act speaks directly to CRC Article 12 compliance, stating that: “Every child shall have the right to express his or her views freely and such views shall be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.” The Rights of the Child Act also criminalizes child abuse and neglect, providing for imprisonment of not less than one month and up to two years for violators. 
The Rights of the Child Act notwithstanding, Yemen seems not to have created a system that facilitates government intervention in cases where children are abused or neglected. To begin, despite its recent criminalization of child abuse, our research suggested that no system exists in Yemen for reporting cases of abuse and neglect. Furthermore, Yemen has made no mention of child protective proceedings in any of its State Party Reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and our research did not uncover the existence of such a system. Though the Committee on the Rights of the Child approved of the passage of the Rights of the Child Act, it noted that Yemeni children still suffered from a “high prevalence of abuse, including sexual abuse, and neglect … and at the lack of effective measures taken to combat this problem.”
Part of the reason for the failure of the Yemeni government to create child protective proceedings may be that, as an Arab, Islamic nation, Yemen is inclined to avoid interfering with the family structure. Moreover, Yemen remains one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. Much of the government’s resources and much of the resources of aid organizations are devoted to meeting citizens’ basic needs for food, water, and health care.
Related Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)
Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, 1994
Chapter III: Social and Cultural Foundations
Article (30) The state shall protect mothers and children, and shall sponsor the young.
The Rights of the Child Act No. 45 of 2002
Protection of the child and his or her interests shall take priority in all decisions and measures involving children, mothers, the family and the environment that are promulgated or applied by any authority.
Every child shall have the right to express his or her views freely and such views shall be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Article 155, paragraph 6
Any person who is entrusted with the upbringing of a child shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than one month and not more than six months, or to a fine, if he deliberately ill-treats or fails to take care of the child. The penalty shall be doubled if the child suffers physical or psychological harm as a consequence.
Local Contact Information
Despite our efforts, we were unable to find a contact person in Yemen.
Additional Resources and Links
Yemeni Embassies in the United States – www.yemenembassy.org
 The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, Article 30, available
 The Rights of the Child Act No. 45 (2002), Article 6, quoted in Third Periodic Report of Yemen to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, CRC/C/129/Add.2 (December 3, 2004), available as .pdf Document.
 Id. at 25.
 Id. at 34.
 The Constitution of the Republic of Yemen, supra note 1.
 Our research never uncovered a full text of Rights of the Child Act in either English or Arabic. The quotations of the Act above are taken from Yemen’s most recent State Party Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. My analysis is also based on my reading of the Yemeni Constitution, and other descriptions of the Yemeni legal system.
 The Rights of the Child Act No. 45 (2002), Article 6, quoted in Third Periodic Report of Yemen to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, supra note 3.
 Id. at 25.
 Id. at 34.