As the crisis in Syria continues unabated, now into its sixth year, we know that with your support we can make a difference to the lives of the men, women and children suffering in Syria.The Issue In Depth
The Issue In Depth
Everything you need to know
The Syrian uprising has rapidly evolved from peaceful protests of the Assad government in 2011 to a violent conflict, killing, injuring and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Civilians continue to pay the highest price.
Government forces are deliberately attacking civilian areas, detaining and torturing human rights defenders and peaceful political activists. They have maintained sieges which are depriving civilians of food and other basic necessities with catastrophic results.
Non-state armed groups continue to shell and conduct bombings in civilian areas and kidnap, detain and kill foreign journalists, aid workers, army and pro-government forces and local activists. Some non-state armed groups such as the Islamic State (IS) have restricted access for aid workers and local partners who are trying to help some of the nation’s most-affected.
Forced to flee
More than 4.8 million refugees who have had to leave Syria are in just five countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt:
- Turkey hosts 2.7 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country worldwide
- Lebanon hosts approximately 1 million Syrian refugees which amounts to around one in five people in the country
- Jordan hosts approximately 655,675 Syrian refugees, which amounts to about 10% of the population
- Iraq where 3.1 million people are already internally displaced hosts 228,894 Syrian refugees
- Egypt hosts 115,204 Syrian refugees
The UN’s 2016 humanitarian appeal for Syrian refugees was just 56% funded by the end of November 2016.
93% of Syrian refugees in urban areas in Jordan are living below the poverty line, as well as 70% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 65% in Egypt and 37% in Iraq.
A glimmer of hope
The cessation of hostilities agreement that came into effect on 27 February 2016 offered a glimmer of hope for civilians. Unfortunately, since late March there was a marked upsurge in the fighting, with indiscriminate attacks on civilian-inhabited areas and targets like hospitals and schools, particularly through aerial bombardments.
However, the latest announcement of a ceasefire in Syria starting at sunset on September 12 to coincided with the holy day of Eid al-Adha, and attempt to end the violence in the conflict by all parties no matter how wrought with trepidation or deep the mistrust runs.
For the United Nations and humanitarian groups engaged in the crisis, urgent lifesaving aid must be delivered for up to 1 million people who continue to live under siege throughout the country.
There remains a need for sustained international pressure to ensure that any ceasefire holds, with the hope of peace talks resuming. There also needs to be accountability mechanisms to address war crimes and human rights violations that have occurred since the uprising began in March 2011.
Medical workers and facilities have come under sustained attack and deliberately targeted. As a consequence, there has been a severe weakening of health-care infrastructure with devastating consequences for civilians.
Civilians continue to be disappeared, taken hostage, tortured and subjected to sexual violence, often in the context of detention. Unlawful killings, including deaths in detention and summary executions, remain a hallmark of the crisis in Syria with Amnesty International reporting over 17,000 deaths in prisons since the beginning of the conflict.
Without a return to the peace process, the Syrian crisis and the human rights violations that underpin it will continue. Amnesty continues to call for adherence to human rights and international humanitarian law and for accountability and an end to impunity all for human rights violations.Close
What we've achieved so far
In September 2015, the Australian government stepped up to save the lives of 12,000 Syrians. A whopping 26,000 Australians signed our petition to help make it happen.Read More
What we've achieved so far
We will continue to call on the Australian government to expedite the arrival of Syrian refugees under the humanitarian program, as only 3,500 of the promised 12,000 have arrived in Australia to date.
The presence of Amnesty researches on the ground in Syria is also vital to holding perpetrators accountable for crimes against humanity. We are there to document serious violations and bring those who commit them to justice.
Over the last five years, tens of thousands of civilians have been detained without trial, often forcibly disappeared. Thousands have died in custody. We are there to shine a light on these cases.
Amnesty’s Crisis Response Director Tirana Hassan said: “Syria can feel overwhelming because of the enormity of the conflict: the sheer number of displaced, the confusing number of parties to the conflict, the overwhelming rising toll of people who have lost their lives.
“However, when Amnesty International’s researchers tell us another human rights activist in the country has been disappeared, when a doctor calls to tell us another hospital has been targeted in an airstrike, my team does not have the option to be overwhelmed.”Close
What we're asking
With war crimes, crimes against humanity and other abuses being committed in Syria, it is essential that justice, truth and reparation form a key part of any transitional justice process.Read More
What we're asking
Amnesty assesses that all parties to the conflict have committed gross abuses of human rights, including war crimes.
- putting researchers on the ground in Syria to expose the horror of everyday life and give a voice to those directly affected by the conflict and government sieges of towns and villages
- lobbying Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure the Syrian people remain safe during military operations and receive much-needed humanitarian aid
- calling on the Australian Government and other world leaders to ensure people fleeing the horrors of Syria are treated fairly and resettled as soon as possible.