Syria is the World’s Worst Country in Terms of Child Mortality
SNHR has stressed in a report released today that the U.N. Secretary General report does not accurately reflect the gravity of the atrocities of the Syrian crisis.
The report, entitled: “Syria is the World’s Worst Country in Terms of Child Mortality” notes that the U.N. Secretary General report has shed light on the toll the armed conflict had on children, and included the violations by the parties to the conflict -government forces, and other pro-government groups or anti-government groups- against children in a number of countries in 2016 including Syria.
According to the report, the U.N. Secretary General report comes in light of a significant escalation in offensives and indiscriminate attacks that are being perpetrated by the parties to the conflict in Syria – most notably aerial bombardment by the Syrian-Russian alliance and the warplanes of the international coalition in the governorates of Idlib, Raqqa, and Deir Ez-Zour governorates. As most of the victims of the conflict in Syria are civilians, among these civilians were children who were, and are being, killed, disfigured, and displaced. Syria needs generation to redress the humanitarian and psychological disorders that have befallen those children.
The report stresses that there is a vast difference between what the U.N. Secretary General report said and what SNHR has been able to document. While the U.N. verified the death of only 652 children, SNHR has documented, by names and details, 3,923 children victims in 2016 alone – six times more than what the U.N. verified in Syria. This reflects a blatant carelessness in documenting children victims, and the violations in Syria in general. This is can be owed, according to the report, to the shortage of manpower in the team working on Syria at the U.N., as the OHCHR website has completely stopped counting the victims of the armed conflict in Syria in 2014, without establishing any alternative option to separately document the death toll for each new year.
The report highlights the extraordinary importance of the report that shed light on the catastrophic reality of childhood in Syria, as the report highlighted a remarkably important point, where the report notes in most of the violations that the major perpetrator is the Syrian regime (which truly reflects the nature of the incidents and events, and is corresponded by statistics).
Furthermore, the report notes that its sole objective is to outline some notes, where, hopefully, they are addressed in future reports through greater coordination and collaboration with the national institutions that work on documenting and archiving violations of human rights.
The report says that no less than 251 cases of arrest made against children by Syrian regime forces have been documented in 2016 compared to only 12 cases documented in the U.N. Secretary General report.
According to the report, the U.N. Secretary General report holds armed opposition factions as the party most responsible for recruiting children, which contradicts the incidents monitored by SNHR that monitored no less than 1,926 cases of children being conscripted by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, trumping all other parties in that respect.
The report also stresses that the U.N. Secretary General report has failed to address the toll of children victims who were killed chemical attacks carried out by Syrian regime forces that resulted in the killing of 21 children and injured 35 others in 25 different chemical attacks carried out by Syrian regime forces in 2016 alone. Additionally, the U.N. Secretary General report didn’t address the children victims who were killed in attacks by government forces and their Russian allies in which cluster munitions and landmines. There has been, according to SNHR report, no less than 171 attacks using cluster munitions by Syrian-Russian alliance forces that resulted in the killing of 113 children.
The report calls on the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict to coordinate and work with Syrian human rights groups who are active in the field of documenting and archiving violations in Syria, in order to contribute to and assist the U.N.’s efforts for the sake of obtaining more comprehensive and accurate information and data on Syria.
Also, the report emphasizes that the team working on documenting the violations in Syria at the OHCHR should be expanded, and called for Issuing immediate statements in the event of massacres against children in Syria, which was the case, for instance, in incidents where schools and kindergartens were directly bombarded by the Syrian-Russian alliance.