Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, has been devastated by armed conflict since September 2014. The conflict has received limited international coverage and human rights violations and violations under international humanitarian law suffered by the civilian population have been grossly underreported. All parties to the conflict have been linked to serious violations of international law, with inadequate accountability mechanisms in place to ensure justice for victims.
Yemen is one of the world’s least developed countries. Since unification in 1990, Yemen enacted a series of reforms to stabilize the economy and promote development; nevertheless, poverty remains widespread and the state apparatus is weak. Following the uprising in 2011, a new government was established in free elections, however, the transition process was interrupted by the escalation of violence leading to a conflict by different national and regional forces since September 2014. The situation in Yemen remains grave and is marked by continued war. Serious human rights violations and violations under international humanitarian law have been suffered by the civilian population and remain grossly underreported. IDLO thereby supports the available national accountability mechanisms to ensure justice for victims of violations.
The Italian Justice Minister, Andrea Orlando, has expressed strong interest in reinforcing his Ministry’s cooperation with IDLO. Mr. Orlando’s comments came as he met IDLO Director-General Irene Khan to discuss judicial and legal capacity development in Yemen. It was the highest-level encounter between the Italian Ministry of Justice and IDLO in some years.
As Yemen launched its democratic transformation, its judiciary requested IDLO’s technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of new and sitting judges and staff. Working with the High Judicial Institute in Sana’a, we have helped officials train new judges, by providing technical guidance to draft and update the Institute’s curriculum, while delivering training sessions on commercial and maritime law.
Following on from its engagement with Afghanistan, and its more recent one with Somalia and South Sudan, IDLO is stepping up its commitment to fragile states by providing assistance to Yemen. The nation, which has only recently emerged from authoritarian rule, has embarked on a reform experiment known as the National Dialogue Conference.