Thematic areas: Humanitarian Norms – Landmine Ban – Medical Care – Gender – Child Protection
Syria continues to be a context where civilians are exposed to major protection issues in various areas. The country is affected by multiple armed conflicts, both non international and international. The involvement of foreign states, with their conflicting agendas, further complicates the picture.
Attacks on medical facilities and schools remain a hallmark in the crisis. The UN estimates that almost half of these facilities are either fully or partially not functional as a result of hostilities. Moreover, attacks on schools were constantly reported, preventing children from pursuing their education.
The effects of new and protracted displacement also resulted in the use of collective shelters, including schools for IDP, putting civilians in dire living conditions. In addition, women and girls continue to face gender-based violence risks and a high number of children used in hostilities has been reported by all sides. In 2021, intense fighting occurred in both northeast (NES) and northwest Syria (NWS), including Idlib and Aleppo countryside.
Geneva Call’s activities in Syria
• Enhanced dialogue for humanitarian access: Geneva Call developed a new partnership with the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), having for the first-time access to NWS, enabling the team to directly engage with active Syrian CSOs and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the area.
• Strengthened ANSAs knowledge & capacities: Geneva Call conducted its first training on the protection of medical care for key ANSAs operating in NWS. A significant achievement was the release of 30 recruited children from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) contingent.
• Deeds of Commitment: Following a long engagement with the Central Division – active in NWS, Geneva Call achieved the signature of two Deeds of Commitment:
– Deed of Commitment for the protection of health care in armed conflict
– Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action.
• Consolidated awareness: Geneva Call held its first training session on sexual violence and gender discrimination for the Educated Woman Association. In collaboration with its partner, Afaq Academy, over 30 training sessions were conducted, including awareness raising to local CSOs, CBOs and ANSAs.
During the intense fighting involving ANSAs in north east and north west Syria, Geneva Call conducted an IHL training session with ANSAs directly participating in the hostilities. During the same period, Geneva Call launched a two-week radio and internet broadcast, disseminating audio messages on the general rules of IHL.
An ongoing humanitarian engagement with MORE THAN FIFTEEN DIFFERENT SYRIAN ANSAS.
NINE SYRIAN ANSAS have signed one or more of our Deeds of Commitment.
The Syrian Democratic Forces RELEASED 56 CHILDREN under the age of 18 in October 2018.
As part of the Fighter not Killer campaign, videos on key rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) were VIEWED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES on social media, including the Facebook pages and websites of various organizations.
WE PROVIDE FEEDBACK on ANSAs’ existing code of conducts and guidance in drafting declarations of their commitments.
IHL trainings delivered to more than 2,000 ANSA AND CSO MEMBERS IN 2017-2018
Christopher Kidner – COUNTRY DIRECTOR