Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth.
As part of a joint #StatelessJourneys project, the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), ASKV Refugee Support and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS) are publishing a new report “From Syria to Europe” exposing the experience of stateless refugees at different stages of their journey.
Iraq hosts more than 250,000 Syrian refugees, mostly located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The Durable Solutions Platform, together with IMPACT Initiatives (REACH), have completed a study on the future prospects for these Syrian refugees in Iraq. The report provides an overview and analysis of their key challenges and opportunities to locally integrate in Iraq.
President Donald Trump has ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from north-east Syria. This risks chaos and drives home the urgent need for a deal that restores Syrian state sovereignty to its north east, assuages Turkish security concerns and allows for some degree of Kurdish self-rule.
Without improved conditions, legal frameworks to ensure returnees’ rights, and humanitarian access to areas of return; conditions for dignified returns are not in place. Hence, overall, returns of persons displaced by the Syrian conflict are neither promoted nor facilitated by the humanitarian community. However, in January to June 2018, it was estimated that 744,990 IDPs and 15,714 refugees returned to their areas of origin in Syria. In North-east Syria, 136,188 returns in Raqqa governorate and 18,702 in Hasakeh governorate were reported in January to June 2018. A majority of displaced Syrians who have returned were internally displaced persons (IDPs) from camps or nearby areas within their governorate of origin; rather than returning from other governorates in Syria or from neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, many Syrians remain displaced and it is suggested that the loss of the power of the so-called Islamic State of the Levant’s (ISIL) alone, without a broader political settlement, will not lead to widespread refugee returns. While acknowledging that a majority of displaced Syrians have not returned – an improved understanding of the return and reintegration process can be instrumental to, eventually, facilitating durable solutions for displaced populations in the longer term.
Based on findings from the field , a report published today by Kinyat and FIDH describes how the Islamic State (ISIL) legitimised, organised and planned the sexual trafficking of captive Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. The report calls for prosecution of foreign fighters by national and international courts on charges of sexual crimes amounting to genocide and crimes against humanity, in a context where the response of the authorities thus far has been limited to the fight against terrorism.
Much of north-eastern Syria has been safe during the civil war. But in the event of U.S. military withdrawal, a mad scramble for control could be unleashed. Washington and Moscow should help their respective allies in Syria reach a decentralisation deal for the area.
As northeast Syria recovers from occupation by ISIS, there is an important opportunity to strengthen the capacity of local humanitarian groups to help the region recover. These groups work in IDP camps, in host communities, with the displaced, with residents who never left, and with IDP and refugee returnees. They provide a range of services from food distribution to health care to shelter assistance in places where many international aid organizations do not or cannot have a presence. However, these groups are significantly limited in what they can achieve due to scarce funding and lack of capacity.
This study documents lessons from child protection activities focusing on psychosocial interventions in southern and central Syria that have been implemented through a partnership between an INGO and a network of Syrian organisations, using remote management modalities. It makes key recommendations to international actors, both INGOs and donors, engaged in remote programming and child protection.
After his visit to Raqqa in northeast Syria in late January, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green highlighted efforts by the United States to facilitate Syrians’ return to the city and how U.S. support in the area helps make that possible. Raqqa is not under Syrian government control, and many donors and aid organizations are reluctant to engage in northeast Syria without explicit permission from the Assad regime. As a result, the United States has found itself largely alone as it has tried to help stabilize Raqqa and assist the local population to recover.