More children are dying in the IDP camps located in the areas under the control of the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a result of malnutrition, disease, and lack of medical care. The deaths increased following the final campaign to rout ISIS from its last holdout in eastern Syria a few months ago.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria expressed concern about tens of thousands of civilians displaced during the final campaign against ISIS.
In a statement on Thursday, the Commission said that many are “being held in limbo under dire humanitarian conditions” with only marginal access to food and medical care and are “being treated as security threats.”
“Inevitably this has led to preventable deaths,” Chairman of the Commission Paulo Pinheiro said, noting that “up to 240 children have reportedly already perished due to malnutrition or untreated infected wounds.”
At Al-Hol camp in al-Hasakah province, which was initially built to house up to 10,000 displaced people, there are now over 73,000. Ninety-two percent of them are women and children and 15 percent, or at least 11,000, are foreign nationals, the Commission said.
The Commission said that it was “particularly alarmed by the situation of children who are caught up in this quagmire and who are vulnerable to being left without a nationality.”
“Of some 3,500 children at al-Hol camp, including those born as a result of rape, the majority lack or have lost birth registration documents. Some 335 children at the camp have already been registered as “unaccompanied,” but are receiving no gender or child sensitive counselling or trauma support.
“The assistance provided thus far, however, has been wholly insufficient. Every effort must now be made by the international community to assist in speeding up the provision of humanitarian aid to these displaced individuals, including by Member States who have obligations under Security Council Resolution 2249.”
The Commission, established by the U.N. Human Rights Council, has been gathering evidence of alleged crimes against civilians during the nine-year civil war.
The PYD militia established al-Hol camp in April 2017 to house civilians fleeing the battles with ISIS as well as the families of ISIS fighters who surrendered themselves. People inside the camp are usually subjected to maltreatment. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)