(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 changes in their aid and investment practices to ensure that any funding they provide to Syria advances Syrians’ rights.

The 91-page report, “Rigging the System: Government Policies Co-Opt Aid and Reconstruction Funding in Syria,” looks at the government’s policies for and restrictions on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction and development funding to Syria. Human Rights Watch found that the Syrian government has developed a policy and legal framework that allows it to divert aid and reconstruction resources to fund its atrocities, punish those perceived as opponents, and benefit those loyal to it.