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Country Profile

The Republic of Yemen (YE) is governed by a bicameral legislature with its seat of government in Sanaa, the capital.  It is a member of the United Nations, UNESCO and the World Trade Organization (observers).

Yemen is the world’s 86th largest economy by GDP and has a population of 26,052,966.1  Internet users as of December 2013 stood at 5,210,593, or 20% of the population.2  As of December, 2012, the country had 495,440 Facebook users, or 2% penetration.3

In Q4 of 2012 the total number of mobile subscribers in Yemen was approximately 14,506,000 and in Q4 of 2013 the total was approximately 15,874,000, a year-on-year increase of 9.43%.4  This figure includes both contract and pre-paid connections.

Currently, the youth population (0 - 14 years) represents 41.7% of the population.5


As the poorest country in the Middle East with around 39% of the population living below the poverty line (Oct. 2012), Yemen’s telecommunications sector reflects this status, with a fixed-line penetration rate of only 5%.6

Yemen has two ISPs: YemenNet, a service of the government's Public Telecommunication Corporation (PTC)7 and TeleYemen's Y.Net, which is also part of the government's PTC but is managed by FranceTelecom8.  Despite this, the provision of Internet access to date has been monopolized by the State.  Y.Net sets rigorous restrictions for both ISPs, requiring them to limit the use of their services to prevent subscribers from accessing or transmitting certain content.  Y.Net’s Terms & Conditions state that "the customer shall not use the Y.Net service for any illegal purposes, nor for sending any message which is offensive on moral [...] grounds, or is abusive, of an indecent obscene or menacing character".9  Furthermore, transmitting or receiving live video or audio, or making similar demands on the capacity of the network, constitutes an unreasonable usage and is not permitted.  Finally, TeleYemen cautions subscribers that they will report "any use or attempted use of the Y.Net service which contravenes any applicable Law of the Republic of Yemen".

The Yemeni Ministry of Information (MoI) imposed physical restrictions on cyber cafés, the primary access location for many residents as Internet access at home is low.  For Internet café operators to be able to monitor the browsing activities of their customers, the MoI ordered partitions placed between computer workstations to be removed, and to make computer screens visible to the café owner.10  Occasionally, owners also use monitoring software to observe the online activities of clients.  In some cases, users are also required to submit personal information to the café owner before they are allowed to use the Internet.

In terms of legislation, in 2009 the Ministry of the Interior announced its efforts to prepare a draft law to combat cyber crime, but this initiative is still in its early stages.11  Other laws do not mention the Internet or technology as a means to commit crimes, but higher penalties are imposed in many cases where the victim is a child.

BBC World Service, (2008). Internet Media Use & Public Opinion. This research involved respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Israel, Kuwait, UAE, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Algeria and Tunisia and asks a variety of questions, including where people access the Internet, what languages they speak and where they go to obtain news information. The study included respondents aged from fifteen and above and the fifteen to 24 year-old age group is quoted often. To read the research in full go to


In 2004, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Microsoft South Gulf signed a Memorandum of Understanding to introduce ICT education to Yemeni schools under the global Partners in Learning (PiL) initiative.12  Under the MoU, both parties will work together to develop an IT curriculum for secondary school students.  Furthermore, IT Academies across the country were to be set up, serving as training centers for teachers to learn the IT curriculum. Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLC) to serve the wider community were also to be developed.  Even though the partnership was scheduled to conclude in 2009, there appears to be no evaluation of the project available online.

The ‘Internet for Yemeni High Schools’ project, which was active between 2006 and 2010, aimed to link ICT use and teacher training in high schools in rural and urban Yemen.13  Implemented by the Education Development Center (EDC), in collaboration with World Links, iEARN and SOUL, a Yemeni NGO, the first phase involved equipping selected high schools in Sana’a and Aden with computer labs complete with Internet connection.  The project also instructed five master trainers from each participating school in basic computer and Internet skills, enabling them to pass on their knowledge to the respective teachers of the project.  

Student learning was also improved by allowing Yemeni students, girls in particular, to do research, access and share information, and learn from other students in the Republic, the region, and the US.  In total, the project has trained 51 master trainers from ten schools.14  During the school holidays, the computer facilities were made accessible to members of the community, enabling them to participate in computer courses run by master trainers and teachers.  Women and girls who had dropped out of school for various reasons benefitted especially from this part of the project.

Women in Technology (WIT) for the Middle East and North Africa is funded by the United States State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, implemented in collaboration with local partners in nine countries/regions: Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Yemen.15  The aims of WIT are to empower women and increase their participation in the workforce by providing partner organizations with curricula, training, professional development, and Information Technology.  WIT uses Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential curricula to teach IT skills to women.  To learn more about the UP curriculum go to

There is currently no information available regarding the integration of Internet safety lessons into the Yemeni curriculum.

This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity.  Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

Any kind of sexual activity outside wedlock is illegal in Yemen.  Legally, the minimum age for marriage is seventeen, as amended in 2009.16  However, this is rarely enforced, and child marriages are commonplace, with some girls as young as ten entering into marriages.17

  • Article 193, Law Concerning Crimes and Penalties (No 12 for the Year 1994) (LCCP).18  Public Incitement.  This Article states that anyone who induces or instigates publicly for the commitment of a crime, or a number of crimes, which consequently take place, will be considered an accomplice.  The punishment for public incitement will be the same penalty as imposed for the crime committed, with a maximum term of five years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 199, LCCP.  Acts or Pictures that are in Violation of Public Conduct.  States that anyone who publicly broadcasts or disseminates pictures, printouts, illustrations, photographs, or any other material in violation of public conduct will be liable to up to one year’s imprisonment and a maximum fine of YR 1,000.  The same penalty applies to anyone who presents such material for public viewing, or sells, leases, rents, or distributes, in an indirect or direct way, such material with a view towards corrupting public morals.  Also punished by one year’s imprisonment and the same fine will be anyone who makes, possesses with the intention of trading, distributes, imports, or publicly prepares such material.
  • Article 264, LCCP.  Homosexuality.  States that any man who commits homosexual acts with another man will be punished by receiving a whipping of 100 strokes or one year’s imprisonment if not married.  Married offenders face death by stoning. 
  • Article 268, LCCP.  Lesbianism.  Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to three years for any female engaging in lesbianism.  If the offense happened under coercion, the maximum sentence will be increased to seven years.
  • Article 269, LCCP.  Rape.  This Article states that anyone who rapes another person will be punished by up to seven years’ imprisonment.  Where the offense was committed jointly by two or more persons, the victim is injured or falls pregnant as a result of the offense, or the offender is entrusted with the victim’s care or upbringing, an increased penalty of between two and ten years’ imprisonment will apply.  If the victim is a minor is under the age of fourteen or where the act led to the suicide of the victim, the prison term will be three to fifteen years.
  • Article 270, LCCP.  Definition of Disgrace.  Defines disgrace to honor as any act, other than homosexuality, lesbianism or adultery, that falls on the body of a person and defames the honor thereof.
  • Article 272, LCCP.  Punishment of Disgrace to Honor With Coercion.  Imposes a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment for anyone who uses coercion or fraud to disgrace the honor of another person.  The same penalty applies if the victim is a female under the age of fifteen, or a male under the age of twelve, even without the use of fraud or coercion.
  • Article 273, LCCP.  Definition of Disgraceful Act.  Defines a disgraceful act in violation of chastity as any act which conflicts with public ethics or losing chastity.  This includes undressing and the intentional exposure of the genital organs as well as obscene language and gestures contradictory to good conduct.
  • Article 274, LCCP.  Punishment of the Disgraceful Act.  States that anyone who commits a disgraceful act in public will be punished by imprisonment for up to six months or a fine.
  • Article 275, LCCP.  Disgraceful Act With a Female.  Contains provisions for anyone who commits a disgraceful act with a female without her consent.  The penalty is up to one year’s imprisonment or a fine.  Where consent was given, both parties will be liable to up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 1,000 Ryals.
  • Article 277, LCCP.  Immorality, Prostitution and Spoilage of Morals.  Defines immorality and prostitution as committing an act which touches the honor and violates the law for the purpose of spoiling the morals of others.
  • Article 278, LCCP.  Punishment for Practicing Immorality and Prostitution.  Defines the penalty for practicing immorality and prostitution as imprisonment for up to three years.
  • Article 279, LCCP.  Instigation on Immorality and Prostitution.  States that anyone who instigates others to practice prostitution or immorality will be liable to up to three years’ imprisonment.  Where the other person actually does commit one of the above following the instigation, the penalty will rise to up to seven years’ imprisonment.  This is further increased to a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment if the victim is under the age of fifteen or if the offender lives on the earnings of prostitution.  Where the two are combined, the maximum penalty will be fifteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Article 291, LCCP.  Definition of Defamation.  Defines defamation as the attribution of an offensive act or event to another person, which would legally require the punishment of the accused.  Defamation also includes insulting another person, which dishonors or discredits the victim, without attributing a specific fact.
  • Article 292, LCCP.  Punishment for Defamation.  Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to two years, or a fine, for anyone guilty of defamation.


Ministry of Education
The Ministry aspires to deliver the best educational service to all its students in a variety of ways, constantly seeking to improve the quality and delivery of education.  To find out more go to

Non-Government for Childhood Protection
This independent organization specializes in defending child rights through monitoring, documentation and providing judicial advocacy for child victims of crimes and violations.  To find out more go to


Page last reviewed September 8, 2014

1 (last accessed August 18, 2014)
2 (last accessed August 18, 2014)
3 (last accessed August 18, 2014)
4 (last accessed September 4, 2014)
5 (last accessed August 18, 2014)
6 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
7 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
8 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
9 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
10 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
11 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
12 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
13 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
14 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
15 (last accessed September 5, 2013)
16 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
17 (last accessed November 9, 2012)
18,LEGAL,,LEGISLATION,YEM,4562d8cf2,3fec62f17,0.html (last accessed November 9, 2012)



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