US Drone Strikes Necessitate Counseling Center for 'Traumatized' Children

Yemen had to set up a counseling center to help children deal with the psychological trauma of U.S. drone attacks, a Yemeni official told the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child this week.

Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Peter Schaapveld has previously explained how children in the impoverished country are “traumatized and re-traumatized by drones,” and described one young girl whose “dreams are of dead people, planes and people running around scared.”

Kat Craig, Legal Director of UK-based human rights group Reprieve, stated that Yemeni “President Hadi’s agreements with the US are trumping Yemen’s responsibility to protect its children. Instead of allowing the U.S. to bomb his country to pieces and then setting up a recovery center, President Hadi should listen to his Parliament and stop the drone strikes.”

In December, the Yemeni Parliament called for an end to U.S. drone strikes on the country following a strike that targeted a wedding party and killed a dozen people.  Evidence gathered by Reprieve has forced the administration to investigate the strike.

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2014 has brought a continuation of U.S. drone strikes on Yemen, with a Yemeni farmer the being the first known civilian casualty on Wednesday.

Baraa Shiban, Reprieve’s Yemen project co-ordinator, wrote in an op-ed this week:

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