Situation of internally displaced persons in Syria

The overall human right situation in Syria remains grave. The civil war has a detrimental impact on the population, human rights, regional and international stability. Since 2011, the civilian population is directly targeted by military actions conducted in Syria. The overall economic and social assessment has declined. Before the conflict, Syria was a middle-income developing country, whereas in 2017 its GDP decreased by 40 %. Hostilities led to displacement millions of civilians from different locations. The situation is of displaced persons in Syria remains a matter of particular concern. Some urban areas have seen the displacement of entire populations. The war also caused an increase in the poverty ration – a majority of the population is living in extreme poverty. All these factors make the humanitarian situation fragile. Syrian refugees in Europe are the subject of considerable assistance from the EU and its Member States. The situation of internally displaced persons in Syria is at the greatest risk of violence and human rights violations and requires greater attention of the international community.

At national level very little progress has been made in the regard to improve the situation of displaced persons. There is no national legal or policy framework for the protection of internally displaced persons that would efficiently response to their needs. National bodies, such as High Committee for Relief or Reconstruction Committee are highly politicised institutions. They face challenge with providing coordinate response to the crisis and are inefficient with assessment of the situation.

The situation in the collective shelters for internally displace people remains satisfactory but only where the international humanitarian assistance is provided. The access to essentials facilities, such as water, food, health care is generally at acceptable level. Children are regularly attending schools in the collective shelters. On the national scale, 2 million children are however out of school and many schools’ building were devastated or turn into military objectives.

Free access to humanitarian aid cannot be guaranteed due to intensify of the conflict. The situation of displaced people in the area of restricted or lacking access is a matter of a grave concern of the international community. Humanitarian agencies reported unsuccessful requests for access to some areas. The prices of food have significantly increased during the time of conflict and as a consequence the vast majority of the population is currently suffering from food insecurity. A dramatic increase in malnutrition among children has been reported. Loss of personal identification documents constitutes an urgent concern for many internally displaced persons. The replacement of civil documentation is ongoing, however national authorities due to lack of capacity, resources face difficulties to provide necessary services at satisfactory level. Lack of document can pose serious threat due to the security climate.

Challenges remain with regard to respect for the rights of vulnerable groups, particularly women, children, persons with disabilities and minorities. Women represent more than a half of the refugees and internally displace persons. They are together with children highly vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence. A practice of so-called “survival sex” has been recorded in many regions in Syria. There is lack of capacity and resources to combat the gender-based violence in the areas affected by the conflict. The situation of children is also of a grave concern. Many of them cannot benefit the right to education; the others were recruited as soldiers.

Given the grave situation in Syria and reported human rights abuses and violations, the process of establishing durable solutions is limited. Many urban and rural areas have been devastated and their reconstruction is still impossible due to the on-going conflict. The most urgent actions require the restoration of disrupted livelihoods, resilience building infrastructure and emergency support to vulnerable groups continue. This agenda cannot be cope by the government alone, there is a need to bolster international humanitarian support, increase its efficiency and accountability.


  • Creation of a legal and policy framework to protect the internally displaced persons.
  • Adopt more efficient and coordinated response to the crisis
  • Assistance to persons who lost their personal documents and by no mean impose of any restrictions
  • Improvement of collective displacement facilities
  • Prepare transitional and long-term solutions to housing, land and property issues (compensation, restitution of land, investment in livelihood opportunities)
  • Assistance provided to host families
  • Mapping of internally displaced persons locations, populations flows and needs assessments
  • Guarantee a freedom of movement of internally displaced persons
  • No arbitrary arrest, detention for male displaced persons
  • Strengthen the protection of vulnerable groups by extending psychological care
  • Enable UN and other humanitarian actors free access to all locations with internally displaced populations
  • Increase in international funding to enhance humanitarian assistance
  • Monitoring the compliance of international humanitarian and human rights law.

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