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Aerial footage of sprawling makeshift camps in Idlib near the Turkish border housing the over one million people displaced by fighting
News
Do you remember the last time you sat with your partner in the early cool evening air, recovering from a long day’s work and smiling as you watched your children play? A Syrian man, Khalid al-Satuf, does – and he will never forget it.…
From left to right: Maria (10), Ahmad (2½), Aya (6), and Rama (8) with their father, Khalid al-Satuf. © 2019 Khalid al-Satuf
News

500,000 People Displaced in Recent Hostilities Stuck at Turkish Border

(Beirut) – A Syrian-Russian military alliance strike on a displacement compound in mid-August is an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch said today. Witnesses said there was no apparent military target for the…
Residents rescue injured child after strike on the displacement center in Hass on August 16, 2019.
Video
(Geneva, June 28, 2019) – The Syrian government is co-opting humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance, and in places using it to entrench repressive policies, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Donors and investors should make…
News

Media, Aid Workers, Activists, and Families Targeted

  (Beirut) – Syrian intelligence branches are arbitrarily detaining, disappearing, and harassing people in areas retaken from anti-government groups, Human Rights Watch said today. The abuse is taking place even…
A checkpoint in the Syrian city of Daraa.
News

Satellite Imagery Reveals Large-Scale Destruction of Buildings

(New York) – Protecting civilians should be a key priority for the US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) makes its last territorial stand in Syria, Human Rights Watch said…
Satellite-analysis of US-led coalition air strike locations in Baghuz (19 January - 20 February 2019)
News

Areas Taken from ISIS Restricting Free Movement

(Beirut) – The de facto authorities of two areas of northeast Syria are unlawfully restricting the movement of people who escaped from Islamic State (also known as ISIS)-held areas in displacement camps, Human Rights Watch said today.…
View from hill overlooking Ain Issa displacement camp in Syria, May 2018. © Human Rights Watch
News

Compensate Displaced Residents for Use, Damage

(Beirut) – Turkey-backed armed groups in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have seized, looted, and destroyed property of Kurdish civilians in the Afrin district of northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The anti-government armed…
Camel in front of the Hussein’s studio which was turned into a butcher shop. © 2018 Private
News

Focus on Justice, Refugees, Education

(Brussels) - The Friends of Syria Group meeting in Brussels on April 24-25, 2018, should address the war crimes and impunity that characterize the Syria conflict and meet urgent protection and humanitarian needs, Human Rights Watch said…
People walk with their belongings as they flee the rebel-held town of Hammouriyeh, in the village of Beit Sawa, eastern Ghouta, Syria March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
News

EU Should Raise Issue, Pledge Aid at Conference

(Brussels) – Turkish security forces have routinely intercepted hundreds, and at times thousands, of asylum seekers at the Turkey-Syria border since at least December 2017 and summarily deported them to the war-ravaged Idlib governorate in Syria,…
A Turkish soldier surveys the border line between Turkey and Syria near the city of Kilis, March 2, 2017.
News
(Beirut) – Lawless armed conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) morphed into disastrous trends for the region in 2017, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its 2018 World Report. “Failed leadership, failed…
Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. © 2017 Getty Images
News

Refugees in Jordan Suffer Collective Expulsions to Syria

Syrians who thought they had escaped their civil war by fleeing to neighboring Jordan have been summarily deported to their war-ravaged country without explanation. Jordan’s government says refugees are being sent back to protect national security…
A lone man crosses Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The camp population fell from 203,000 during its peak in April 2013 to 80,000 by July 2017.
Report
Summary Despite a decades-long history of hospitality that has earned Jordan an international reputation as one of the world’s great refugee-hosting countries, since 2014, and especially in 2016 and 2017, Jordan has been marring that…
News

No Due Process Protection; Risk of Serious Harm

(Amman) – Jordanian authorities have been summarily deporting Syrian refugees – including collective expulsions of large families, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Syrians are not being given a meaningful chance to challenge…
Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, seen here in September 2015, has become a symbol of the refugee crisis.
News

Investigate Killings, Abductions of Foreign Men

  (Beirut) – Iraqi authorities are holding more than 1,400 foreign women and their children who surrendered with ISIS fighters in late August 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The detentions appear to have no legal…
Iraqi Ministry of Transportation buses taking internally displaced families to Hammam al-Alil in May 2017. In late August, Iraqi authorities bused 1,400 foreign women and children to the site. © 2017 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News
Displaced Syrians are trapped as never before. The Rukban camp, a desolate encampment on Jordan’s remote northeastern border known as “the berm,” is a microcosm of Syria’s stranded civilians. They face an immediate threat as the Syrian government…
Satellite image of the Rukban Syrian refugee encampment at the Jordanian berm on Jordan-Syria border, June 24, 2016.
News
‘They will kill us all,” “Ahmad,” a Syrian aid worker, told me last month, referring to the many armed parties to the Syrian conflict. We were talking about Idlib, a province in northwest Syria that is home to around 2…
Syrian Man Carries Children After Barrel Bomb Attack
News

Providing a Safe Haven Inside Syria Would Be Complicated, Costly and Probably Dangerous

  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week the United States "will work to establish interim zones of stability [in Syria], through ceasefires, to allow refugees to return home." Although the Pentagon said…
Khirmash displaced persons camp in Syria on Turkey’s border, sheltering about 2,000 people as of mid-April 2016.
News
Just as the Berlin Wall was the iconic symbol of the Cold War era, so the emblematic symbol of President Donald Trump’s administration, if he has his way, could well be the Mexican wall. It represents a simplistic, concrete solution to…
An internally displaced Syrian girl who fled from Aleppo carries a red jacket in the village of Batabo, Syria on February 14, 2016.
News
Recent statements by leaders and governments in the United States, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan indicate an interest in creating so-called safe zones in Syria. While no detailed plans for creating and managing such…
An internally displaced Syrian woman walks in the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp, near the Syrian-Turkish border, northern Aleppo province, Syria, December 26, 2016.