UN to discuss Syria report in Geneva

The UN Commission of Inquiry has published a report on the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, which, it said, is "characterized by intensifying levels of violence that continues to torment civilians."

The 21-page report issued by, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, highlights how on-going hostilities have impacted the lives of Syrians and spawned further mass displacement raising the number of displaced Syrians to approximately 13 million. 

The Commission’s report is scheduled to be presented on 17 September 2019 during an interactive dialogue at the 42th session of the Human Rights Council.

Despite an agreement between Russia and Turkey in September 2018 to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib, Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS) terrorists attacked military positions of pro-government forces and indiscriminately launched rockets towards government held areas, killing and maiming dozens of civilians in the countrysides of Aleppo, Hama and elsewhere.  

Aerial and ground offensives by pro-government forces to oust HTS militants and affiliated armed groups from Idlib, northern Hama, Latakia and western Aleppo escalated dramatically, destroying infrastructure essential to the survival of the civilian population, including hospitals, markets, educational facilities and agricultural resources, and forcing almost half a million civilians to flee.

Situation of camps

The report recalled that up to 70,000 individuals remain very hard conditions at Al-Hol camp, the vast majority of whom are women and children under the age of 12.

At least 390 preventable deaths of children, due to malnutrition or untreated infected wounds, have been recorded, and the humanitarian response to the situation remains woefully inadequate.

Among those interned are Yazidi women and children who - with unclear prospects of returning to their community – are enduring limited access to the health care, psychological support and trauma therapy necessary for their recovery. In many cases Yazidi women are faced with the prospect of giving up their children as a condition for their return to their communities.

Children in Al-Hol camp also face the risk of being left without a nationality and being separated from their parents as a result of the policies of Member States. Of some 3,500 children at Al-Hol camp, including those born as a result of rape, the majority lack, or have lost birth registration documents. “Stripping parents of their nationality has serious and negative consequences for children”, said Commission Chair Paulo Pinheiro.  “Member state policies aimed at repatriating children without their mothers is also something which runs counter to the principle of “best interests of the child”.


The overall security conditions in Afrin and adjacent districts remained dire with armed factions having carved up the province into geographic zones of influence, said the report.

There is a general absence of rule of law and repeated incidents of kidnappings, torture, extortion and assassination. Victims were often of Kurdish origin as well as civilians.

The report proposes a series of practical recommendations aimed at addressing the most urgent protection gaps for the civilian population.


The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, which comprises Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Chair), Ms. Karen Koning AbuZayd, and Mr. Hanny Megally has been mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic.