Syria unsafe for refugees to return: UN report

The latest report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic stated on Sept. 14 that Syria is "not fit for safe and dignified returns of refugees." The report found that between July 2020 and June 2021, armed conflict increased in the country. The report documented 243 civilian deaths, but estimated that the total number of fatalities is actually far greater. The report also stressed the humanitarian crisis and ongoing human rights abuses in the country. Conditions were also found to be precarious for the 6.7 million displaced persons within the country.

The report estimated that 40,000 children are being detained in camps for suspected ISIS collaborators in the Kurdish-controlled east of the country. Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the Commission of Inquiry, said that these conditions indicate that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Syria ratified in 1993, is being "completely forgotten."

"The parties to the conflict continue to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity and infringing the basic human rights of Syrians," commented Pinheiro. "The war on Syrian civilians continues, and it is difficult for them to find security or safe haven."

The report recommended that the Syrian government and other parties to the conflict allow humanitarian organizations access to the country without restrictions, immediately cease perpetrating human rights abuses, and work towards a ceasefire.

From Jurist, Sept. 15

See our last post on the plight of Syrian refugees, and the Assad regime's restrictions on aid.

Call to repatriate women and children in Syria detention camps

The organization Rights & Security International (RSIpublished a report calling for the immediate repatriation of women and children held in the al-Hol and Roj detention camps in northeast Syria.

According to the report, an estimated 12,000 people from countries outside of Iraq and Syria, are being held in these camps (out of a total population of 60,000), and are experiencing conditions so harsh they amount "torture," on the basis of a presumed connection to ISIS. UN experts have described conditions in both al-Hol and Roj camps as a blight on the conscience of humanity, with no end in sight for the women and children in the camps. (Jurist)