• Syria’s armed conflict escalated as the government intensified its attacks and began using increasingly deadly and indiscriminate weapons, culminating in a chemical weapons attack on the Damascus countryside on August 21, 2013. Government forces and pro-government militias also continued to torture detainees and commit executions. Armed opposition forces, including a growing number of pro-opposition foreign fighters, also carried out serious abuses including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, executions, kidnapping, and torture. The spread and intensification of fighting led to a dire humanitarian crisis with millions internally displaced or seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
  • The United Nations Security Council adopts a unanimous resolution on humanitarian access in Syria at U.N. headquarters in New York on February 22, 2014.
    France’s steps at the UN Security Council toward an ICC referral for Syria give momentum to international efforts to ensure justice there, Human Rights Watch said today.



  • Apr 16, 2014

    Last year, the Bulgarian government felt the sting of criticism from Brussels, Geneva and other quarters for mishandling an influx of mostly Syrian refugees. Many were confined in cold, filthy camps without government-provided food, medical care or minimally adequate shelter. The problem got so bad that the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR called on European Union member states not to send asylum seekers back to Bulgaria, as they are generally allowed to do under the Dublin Regulation. It says that the EU country an asylum seeker first enters is usually responsible for examining the person’s claim.

  • Apr 14, 2014

    Politicians in many well-to-do countries speak in exaggerated terms about being threatened by potential hordes of refugees as they make populist appeals that feed on fears and prejudices. The truth is that the less-developed countries, many of them with significant problems of their own, bear a much heavier burden.

  • Apr 14, 2014
    France’s steps at the UN Security Council toward an ICC referral for Syria give momentum to international efforts to ensure justice there, Human Rights Watch said today.
  • Apr 14, 2014
    I recently traveled to the Bab Al-Salam camp in northwestern Syria, so why couldn’t the aid trucks? My journey from the Turkish border to this makeshift site housing more than 16,000 displaced Syrians took only 10 minutes on foot. Yet, when I arrived at the camp, the absence of basic assistance couldn’t have been clearer.
  • Apr 4, 2014
    The Syrian government’s extensive use of cluster munitions has caused numerous casualties, damaged infrastructure, and is resulting in a deadly legacy of explosive remnants of war that will pose dangers to civilians for years to come. Human Rights Watch has identified at least 224 locations in 10 of Syria’s 14 governorates where cluster munitions have been used between July 2012 and March 2014.
  • Apr 1, 2014
  • Mar 28, 2014
    The Syrian government’s refusal to allow aid to enter the country through border crossings held by opposition groups is undermining aid deliveries to hundreds of thousands of desperate people, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s refusal violates the international laws of war.
  • Mar 26, 2014
    It had been nearly a year since I had last returned to Kilis, a Turkish town right on the border with Syria, but it was easy to see the changes: The flow of foreign journalists and international NGO workers entering Aleppo's countryside had dried up, while more Syrians had poured in. The local hospital was being expanded and new buildings were rising across town.
  • Mar 24, 2014
    New satellite imagery, videos and eyewitness accounts reveal the indiscriminate nature of the government’s large-scale air campaign on opposition-held parts of Aleppo since November 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. The attacks on populated areas in Aleppo and its countryside continue despite a UN Security Council resolution on February 22, 2014, demanding all parties cease “indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs.”
  • Mar 19, 2014