The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Thursday issued a report on the tragic situation of children’s rights in Syria under the title “they have erased the dreams of my children,” indicating that the Assad regime committed various violations against children over the past nine years.
The report said that children in Syria have experienced unabated violations of their rights: “they continue to be killed, maimed, injured and orphaned.” The Commission said that the use of cluster munitions, so-called thermobaric bombs and chemical weapons by regime forces, have caused scores of child casualties.
“In detention centers, but also much more broadly, rape and sexual violence have been used against men, women, boys and girls as a tool to punish, humiliate and instill fear among affected communities.” The report also indicated that regime forces “detained boys as young as 12, subjecting them to severe beatings and torture, and denying them access to food, water, sanitation and medical care.”
The Commission described the situation of education in Syria as horrific and appalling, noting that “to date more than 2.1 million girls and boys within Syria have ceased to attend school on a regular basis.”
The report is based on approximately 5,000 interviews conducted between September 2011 and October 2019 with Syrian children, but also eyewitnesses, survivors, relatives of survivors, medical professionals, defectors, members of armed groups, healthcare professionals, lawyers and other affected communities.
The Commission called for respecting the special protection children are entitled to under international humanitarian and human rights law and to ensure accountability for violations that have occurred. The Commission also made a series of recommendations aimed at increasing the support for children who have suffered abuses. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)