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Russia Should Allow Full Year of UN-Led Aid Delivery from Turkey, Iraq

(New York) – Russia should not block the United Nations Security Council from reauthorizing and expanding cross-border humanitarian aid operations across northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Millions of people in northeast and northwest…
UN humanitarian aid trucks enter northwest Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on June 1, 2021
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Set Principled Framework for Aid, Protection, Justice

(Brussels) – The European Union-United Nations sponsored aid conference for Syria on March 29-30, 2021, should prioritize a rights-respecting aid framework that advances urgent protection, humanitarian, and accountability needs, Human Rights Watch…
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Existing Framework can Strengthen Rights Protections if Operationalized

(Beirut) – United Nations agencies should activate the UN’s human rights framework for Syria in their aid plans, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the agencies that developed the principles. Major donors should support this effort at their…
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General Assembly Members Should Not Vote for China, Saudi Arabia

(New York) – United Nations member countries should not vote for China and Saudi Arabia, two of the world’s most abusive governments, for seats on the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said today. Russia’s numerous war crimes in Syria’s…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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Countries Should Look Beyond UN Security Council to Get Aid to Syrians

The UN Security Council’s move last week to confine official, cross-border humanitarian aid to northern Syria to a single crossing on the Turkish border is the final nail in the coffin of the UN’s 6-year-old aid mechanism. It’s also another example of…
Women walk in a neighborhood heavily damaged by airstrikes in Idlib, Syria, March 12, 2020.
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Syrians Returned to Streets Over Economic Meltdown

(Beirut) – Syrian security forces responded to a protest in the city of Sweida on June 15 by beating and arresting protesters demonstrating against the government’s failure to address the country’s economic meltdown, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
People hold up banners at a protest in Sweida on June 9, 2020
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South Africa will soon have a chance to use its UN Security Council seat to show that when it comes to Syria, it is fulfilling Nelson Mandela’s hope that “human rights will be the light that guides our foreign policy.” Sadly, South Africa’s voting…
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Russia Should Support Medical Aid via Syria-Iraq Border to Prevent Covid-19 Spread

The UN Security Council – including Russia – needs to act quickly to reauthorize medical aid deliveries from Iraq to Syria’s northeast to prevent further spread of Covid-19 that could devastate the region.    The council needs to move…
A medic checks the temperature of a man inside a health isolation centre which has been established on the Syrian-Turkish borders in order to place people coming from Turkey to Idlib as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.
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More Aid is Essential to Fight Covid-19 in War-Torn Areas

To help prevent a catastrophic outbreak of Covid-19 in Syria, the World Health Organization (WHO) should stand firm in urging the United Nations Security Council to ensure medical and other humanitarian aid can be delivered to Syria…
Medical workers oversee the disinfection of streets to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Qamishli, Syria, March 24, 2020.
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State Perpetrators in Syria, Yemen Go Unnamed

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons concluded in an April 8 report that Syria’s air force had carried out three chemical weapons attacks against its own people, including children, on the orders of senior military…
Children attending class on the first day of school, which was damaged by an airstrike during fighting between Saudi-led coalition-backed government forces and Houthi forces, Taizz, Yemen, September 3, 2019.
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General Assembly Fully Funds Investigation into Serious Crimes

In late December, United Nations member countries defeated an attempt by Russia to block funding for investigations into grave abuses in Syria, approving US$17.81 million for a team of investigators responsible for gathering evidence of…
People walk past destruction from government airstrikes in the town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, January 15, 2020.
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Past Inquiries Named Responsible Parties

For years, hospitals in Syria have been getting bombed. These attacks continue even though the UN collected the locations of these protected sites and shared them with the warring parties in hope of shielding them from the crossfire.…
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, February 10, 2017.
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Russia, Syria Accused of Using Shared Coordinates to Target Facilities

  Update: On August 1, the United Nations announced that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will launch an investigation into hospital attacks in Syria. Human Rights Watch says investigators should attribute responsibility…
Syrians inspect the wreckage at a site after Syrian government airstrikes targeted a civilian hospital in the town of Hass, Southern rural Idlib, Syria, September 8, 2018.
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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
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Countries Should Account for Living and Dead in Syria, Other Wars

Today, the United Nations Security Council passed its first resolution on missing persons in armed conflicts, seizing a key opportunity to strengthen efforts toward uncovering the fates of those missing and giving closure to countless…
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Statement by Ms. Nujeen Mustafa during the United Nations Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria on April 24, 2019

Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Mr. President, your Excellencies, Civil Society colleagues, Ladies, and Gentlemen, My name is Nujeen Mustafa and I am 20 years old from Aleppo, Syria. I have cerebral palsy and use a…
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States Should Vote for Funding New OPCW Team

Governments supporting an effort to identify those responsible for deadly chemical attacks in Syria need to back their commitment to justice with cash. They will get the chance this week when member states of an international treaty…
A civil defense member breathes through an oxygen mask, after what rescue workers described as a suspected chemical attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017.