Dangerous ground – Syria’s refugees face an uncertain future

The conflict in Syria, now approaching its eighth year, has resulted in the displacement of half the pre-war population; more than six million people are displaced within the country, more than five million are refugees in neighbouring countries, and a million have fled to Europe.—syrias-refugees-face-an-uncertain-future/dangerous-ground—syrian-refugees-face-an-uncertain-future.pdf


Holding the keys: humanitarian access and local organisations.

This report explores whether local actors in Ukraine and Syria obtain access, and if they do, how they negotiate such access to conduct relief and protection operations. It also reflects more broadly on how local knowledge on access can be better harnessed to serve those in need.


Syria: ‘we leave or we die’: forced displacement under Syria’s ‘reconciliation’ agreements

Local agreements have increasingly become one of the Syrian government’s key strategies to force the opposition’s surrender. The agreements are presented by the government and its allies as a “reconciliation” effort, but, in reality, they come after prolonged unlawful sieges and bombardment and typically result not only in the evacuation of members of non-state armed groups but also in the mass displacement of civilians. In essence, the deals have enabled the government to reclaim control of territory by first starving and then removing inhabitants who rejected its rule. The population transfers on the now-infamous green buses have come to symbolise the dispossession and defeat.

“Everywhere the bombing followed us”. Forced displacement and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. Perspectives of Syrian women refugees in Lebanon

The report confirms that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Syria is an overriding factor in the forced displacement of population. It highlights that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas drives multiple forced displacements and induces a pattern of displacement which increased the vulnerability of civilians.

Through this report, Handicap international gives a voice to forcibly displaced Syrians and calls on the international community and parties to the conflict in Syria to end the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.


“These are the Crimes we are Fleeing”. Justice for Syria in Swedish and German Courts

This report outlines efforts in Sweden and Germany to investigate and prosecute people implicated in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Syria. Drawing on interviews with 50 officials and practitioners working on these cases and 45 Syrian refugees in the two countries, Human Rights Watch documented the difficulties German and Swedish investigators and prosecutors face in taking up these types of cases, and the experience of refugees and asylum seekers with the authorities.



“I Have No Idea Why They Sent Us Back”. Jordanian Deportations and Expulsions of Syrian Refugees

This report documents that during the first five months of 2017, Jordanian authorities deported about 400 registered Syrian refugees each month. In addition, approximately 300 registered refugees each month returned to Syria during that time under circumstances that appeared to be voluntary. Another estimated 500 refugees each month returned to Syria under circumstances that are unclear. Jordan has hosted more than 654,500 Syrian refugees since 2001. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called for other countries to increase their assistance to Jordan and to resettle greater numbers of Syrian refugees living in Jordan.


All Feasible Precautions? Civilian Casualties in Anti-ISIS Coalition Airstrikes in Syria

This report documents coalition attacks in March on a school housing displaced families in Mansourah and a market and a bakery in Tabqa, towns west of the city of Raqqa. Human Rights Watch found that ISIS fighters were at these sites, but so were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of civilians. The coalition should conduct thorough, prompt, and impartial investigations of the attacks, do everything feasible to prevent similar attacks, and provide compensation or condolence payments to people who suffered losses due to the coalition’s operations, Human Rights Watch said.

Following the Money: Lack of Transparency in Donor Funding for Syrian Refugee Education

This report tracks donors’ fulfillment of their pledges to support education for Syrian refugees in 2016. It focuses on pledges made at a major conference in February 2016 in London, where donors—the six largest were the European Union, US, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, and Japan—committed to provide $1.4 billion in funding for education inside Syria and in neighboring countries, and agreed with refugee-hosting countries to enroll all Syrian refugee children, as well as vulnerable children in host communities, in “quality education” by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Update: Durable Solutions for Syrian Refugees

The security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) remains fluid, and complex patterns of conflict and displacement continue in many areas. An estimated 1.1 million displacements were recorded in the first half of 2017, at an average of 7,300 displacements per day, notably in the context of the Ar-Raqqa offensive. Between January and May 2017, some 450,000 IDPs were estimated to have returned to their community of origin, 303,500 of whom in Aleppo Governorate. The estimated total number of IDPs remained at 6.3 million as of 31 March 2017, and some 13.5 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance within Syria according to OCHA statistics.