Syria’s civilian population bears the brunt of a decade-long conflict, compounded by worsening humanitarian and economic conditions.
More than ten years of crisis have inflicted immense suffering on the civilian population who have experienced massive and systematic violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. While the March 2020 Idleb ceasefire agreement led to an overall reduction in hostilities and large-scale displacement, conflict has intensified throughout 2021 along frontlines that have not shifted significantly since 2020 and is driving humanitarian needs to a significant extent. Political division, exclusion and the lack of access to justice mechanisms have continued to disenfranchise people and to limit their ability to address their needs in a sustainable manner. The humanitarian response is systematically challenged by impediments and restrictions.
This report is part of a series of Whole of Syria (WoS) Protection Analysis Updates and covers the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2022. It focuses on areas covered by the HCT-coordinated response (i.e. Government-controlled areas and areas of north-east Syria accessible through crossline).The most severe protection risks identified in the period covered by this report are: (1) Abduction, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary or unlawful arrest and/or detention, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; (2) Impediments and restrictions to access resources, opportunities, services, documentation and justice; (3) Forced displacements and restrictions on the freedom of movement; (4) Gender-based violence; (5) Exposure to explosive ordnance.
Complex and interconnected protection issues in this protracted crisis are worsening in an overall context of limited access to humanitarian services, rights, justice, and accountability, as well as the deteriorating economy and widespread poverty, lack and loss of livelihoods, destruction and loss of housing and property, protracted and multiple cycles of displacement, substandard living conditions (even for people in areas of relative stability), shortage of natural resources and the continuing pandemic exacerbate protection needs and increase reliance on negative coping mechanisms such as child labour, child recruitment, different forms of exploitation and early/forced marriage. Both protection-specific and crosssector humanitarian response efforts should be maintained and scaled up to avoid further long-lasting impacts on the safety and dignity of the civilian population.