The indiscriminate bombing of cities in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition highlights the need for renewal of the way that humanitarian law is observed in times of armed conflict, especially in three areas:
- the protection of women
- the prohibition of starving civilian populations as a method of warfare , and
- the protection of cultural heritage.
Protection for women is enshrined in international humanitarian law, which, as world law, should be binding on both States and armed opposition groups. This body of world law includes the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 written in light of the consequences of the Second World War and their two Additional Protocols of 1977 written due to the experiences of the war in Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia.
In addition, the human rights standards as developed within the United Nations prohibit torture, unlawful killings, forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and slavery. Women should also be kept safe from the use of prohibited weapons such as chemical and cluster weapons.