Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to ‘make sense of this senseless war’

© UNHCR/Antwan Chnkdji Lifesaving core relief items provided by UNHCR help tens of thousands of internally displaced and newly returning families to Syria.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


New firsthand reporting by UN staff in Syria reveals “increasingly horrific brutality” by all parties in the de-escalation area of the country’s northwest, causing “significant civilian causalities” and hundreds of thousands displaced, a senior humanitarian official said on Thursday.

“Three million people in Idlib need protection”, Najat Rochdi, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, said in a statement, adding that there was “grave danger” of a “humanitarian catastrophe” if the violence fails to end.

Attacks and fighting are also impacting civilians in Government-controlled areas.

“Let me be clear”, said Ms. Rochdi, “the protection of civilians is paramount”.

She maintained that combatting terrorism – a justification often used by pro-Syrian Government forces for the assault on the last rebel-held area of Syria – “does not absolve any party from its legal obligations” to prevent attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

“All warring parties must uphold their obligations under international law, and immediately stop attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities, schools, markets and places of worship, which may amount to war crimes”, she spelled out.

The Humanitarian Adviser underscored the principle of collective responsibility towards the victims of the conflict, “many of whom are too young to try to make sense of this senseless war”.

While the UN welcomed news that some 1,000 people and 526 third-party nationals have left the hugely-overcrowded Al Hol camp in the country’s northeast, it noted that the people who remain displaced there also need urgent protection and assistance, saying that “a durable solution is required”.

Some 91 per cent of the 72,000 people in the Al Hol camp are women and children, 65 per cent of whom are under-12.

Ms. Rochdi reminded all parties that under international law, all children, including those suspected of being associated with armed groups and or terrorist organizations, “are entitled to special care and protection

“These children are victims, and must be treated first and foremost as such”, Ms. Rochdi stressed.

Due to a desperately short supply of basic goods and services, the situation for 29,000 people in the Rukban settlement near the Jordanian border, remains “critical”, she said, adding that it had been more than four months since they last received assistance.

“I call again today on Member States with influence to facilitate the immediate delivery of assistance to people in Rukban, and to support the UN’s request to assist those transiting to collective shelters and to people who have returned to (their) areas of origin”, stated Ms. Rochdi.

She appealed again on Thursday to the international Task Force members’ humanity to “deliver on their commitment and spare civilians who have already suffered for so many years, calling humanitarian assistance in Syria “a lifeline”.

“Urgent meaningful and concrete actions are needed”, she concluded. “It’s not only a humanitarian imperative, it’s a duty”.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

How private equity can fund the fight against climate change

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

Five ways individuals can help save the oceans

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

UN chief calls for ‘far greater support’ for Cyclone Idai response

Electronic cigarettes: is it really a safe alternative to smoking?

End discrimination against women and children affected by leprosy

The European Union and the United States sign an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists

Three things Nigeria must do to end extreme poverty

Scientists in Sweden are studying the climate-cooling effects of spruce forests

Aid convoy for north-east Syria postponed over security concerns – UN relief chief

What the mighty mangrove tells us about our broken relationship with nature

Commission supports normalisation in Greece through activation of post-programme framework

Catalysing change for gender equality, co-authored by two United Nations Under-Secretary Generals

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

EU, Brazil to hold high level Summit in Brasilia

Who holds the key to the future of biotechnology? You do

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Ming At the Reception in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China

The middle-class dream is moving beyond millennial reach

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

New seat projections for the next European Parliament

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

Parliament criticises Council’s rejection of money laundering blacklist

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

MEPs want robust EU cyber defence and closer ties with NATO

The sad plight of fledging doctors

Evacuation of wounded Yemenis from rebel-held capital may bolster fresh peace talks

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

JADE Generations Club 2015: Knowledge vs. competences – Do not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

Yemen: Committee brings warring parties to the table in Hudaydah, builds on ceasefire

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

With science ‘held back by a gender gap’, Guterres calls for more empowerment for women and girls

This is what the gender pay gap looks like in eight countries

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

EU paves the way for a stronger, more ambitious partnership with Africa

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

Violence in North and West Africa increasingly targeting civilian and border areas – OECD/SWAC

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

The challenge of maintaining interest in Primary Health Care in medical students

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

On the Global Day of Parents, UNICEF is urging support for parents to give children ‘the best start in life’

Ethiopia is Africa’s fastest-growing economy

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

South Sudan: ‘Horrific acts’ by government may constitute ‘war crimes’ says UN, demanding justice

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

A 3-step path to securing critical infrastructure

Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

South Sudan’s foreseen genocide: from “Never Again” to “Again and Again and Again”?

Urgently address ‘defining challenges of our time’, to empower youth worldwide, top UN official tells forum

Pedro Sánchez: We must protect Europe, so Europe can protect its citizens

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s