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Syria: Armed Conflict and Crisis

    Every 20 seconds a Syrian is forced to flee their home

    5 people are killed in Syria every hour

    35 people ‘disappear’ in Syria every day

    The crisis and armed conflict in Syria continues to be marked by war crimes, crimes against humanity and widespread gross human rights abuses by all sides, particularly forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

    There has been, and continues to be a shocking disregard for the lives of civilians who remain to be increasingly affected by the conflict. Reports indicate that more than 250,000 people have been killed; around 7 million people are internally displaced inside Syria; and over 480,000 people living in besieged areas are among 4.6 million people living in hard-to-reach areas, who in turn are among the 13.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance – the delivery of which is frequently blocked in particular by government forces. Over 4.6 million people have fled the country as refugees.

    Violations of international humanitarian law that have been committed by government forces and non-state actors include: the use of prohibited weapons; indiscriminate attacks; direct attacks against civilians and civilian objects; summary killings; and taking civilian captives.

    There are concerns with regards the administration of justice in territory held by both government and non-state actors. These concerns include abuses committed in the context of arrests and detention by both the government and non-state armed groups, particularly torture or other ill-treatment and deaths in custody, as well as enforced disappearances carried out by government forces. Human rights defenders and peaceful political activists are among those affected.

    Women and girls have suffered patterns of abuse during this period, including gender-specific issues affecting women in detention, sexual violence in the conflict and early and other forced marriages. Other challenges women face, include women-headed households, e.g. travelling with their children to escape violence and restrictions on movement while displaced.

    Amnesty International is calling on the international community to ensure there is adequate and sustained funding for humanitarian appeals for Syria, and to support the main host countries to enable them to keep their borders open and provide adequate protection and assistance to refugees.

    Amnesty International is also calling for an urgent and significant increase in the number of places available for resettlement and humanitarian admission to refugees from Syria, over and above existing resettlement quotas.

    Furthermore, the organization calls on all states to keep their borders open to those fleeing the conflict in Syria – as well as to other refugees – and to ensure that those trying to reach their borders are treated with dignity.

    With your support Amnesty International will:

    • continue to have a presence in the field in Syria and in adjacent countries to report on human rights violations that lead to displacement
    • distribute our research findings widely to draw world attention to the plight of refugees
    • meet with officials at the UN to recommend actions needed for immediate humanitarian access and protect civilians.
    • interview and film refugees and displaced people to ensure that the direct impact of conflict on human lives is understood
    • mobilize human rights supporters around the world to speak up to protect refugees

    Reports and Research
    Responding to the issue