SNHR Report Documents Ongoing Crimes Against Syrian Children

Credit: (SNHR/Annual Report)
 According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) 12th annual report, no fewer than 30,127 children have been killed in Syria since March 2011, with the Syrian regime responsible for 77% of all extrajudicial killings of children. Additionally, the report notes that 5,229 children are still detained or forcibly disappeared, with 3,696 children detained or forcibly disappeared by Syrian regime forces. The 68-page document declares that no fewer than 1,493 cases of child recruitment by Syrian regime forces, with approximately 65% of all child recruitment cases attributed to them. This year alone 233 children have been killed, with 68 killed by the Assad regime, 17 by the SDF, and over 140 killed by Russia, other parties, and unexploded ordinance.

The violations of the Assad regime are particularly egregious, with the report highlighting deliberate and calculated violations against children, including unlawful detention, arbitrary arrest, abduction, enforced disappearance, and torture. It notes that the regime has referred children to exceptional courts without assigning separate courts for the adjudication of juvenile cases, with many children receiving exceptionally harsh sentences, including long prison terms and even death sentences. Furthermore, the report reveals that children are usually subjected to torture from the very first moment of their arrests, with 198 children dying due to torture in Syria since March 2011.

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has also had devastating consequences for children. Since 2015 Russia has killed at least 2,049 children and Russian attacks have damaged no fewer than 221 schools and 209 medical facilities. This year alone Assad regime forces have attacked 52 schools and

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been implicated in the widespread recruitment of children, with no fewer than 296 children still actively serving, in spite of previous promises to end such practices. The report also notes that the SDF personnel have been responsible for the killing of 260 children since the group’s initial emergence. The SDF is also responsible for attacks on no fewer than 37 schools and 12 medical facilities, with 21 of those schools attacked this year.

The violations against children in Syria are a tragic and ongoing reality, with all parties to the conflict failing to respect international conventions and rules protecting children’s rights. The report calls on the international community to ensure the protection of forcibly displaced children, both IDPs, and refugees, and stresses the need for legal, political, and financial measures to be taken against the Syrian regime and its allies, as well as against other perpetrators of violations in the Syrian conflict.


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