The children of Syria: Between the violations of the regime and the responsibility of the International Community
Trusted sources from the cities, villages and towns of Syria are constantly relaying to us the sharp increase in the arrest and kidnapping of children, and in taking them as hostages to put pressure on their families in order to reach individuals among them such as the father or brothers. Confirmed news has reached us that the intelligence authorities, security forces, and the armed militias of the regime are inflicting severe torture on children. They are tortured in front of their families in order to force relatives to confess or give information. Many children, including the very young, have died under brutal torture which their tender and weak bodies could not endure. The type of torture described in these reports are severely inhumane, and a gross violation of the rights of children, including raping them in front of their families and forcing them to commit acts which clash with the morals and values of their society, in a brutal and humiliating manner. The purpose of these acts is to punish and to satisfy the hatred and anger in the hearts of the perpetrators. Since the beginning of the events in March 2011, numerous stories have been reported regarding detained and kidnapped children: their torture, the scarring of their bodies, their burning, rape, the violation of their dignity and humanity.
Through this press release, the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) aims to warn of these dangerous violations, which go against the Syrian constitution and regional laws- all of which reiterate the importance of preserving childhood and nurturing it - as well as its violation of international conventions and declarations. SHRC will be releasing a report shortly, which will describe these violations against children in further detail, with statistics, witnesses, and analysis of information.
At the SHRC, whilst we make clear these dangerous violations against childhood and the children of Syria to the world and humanity, and in particular to the organisations of the United Nations, we also call upon them to not to continue ignoring these truths or dealing with them lightly. We ask them to play a serious role in putting an end to these violations, to condemn them, and to bring the perpetrators to be tried at the specialised international courts. The struggle on the ground should not affect childhood, or cause it to be humiliated, killed, disfigured or destroyed. The regime of Bashar al-Asad is employing all that is forbidden internationally and morally against childhood, using it as a tool for its survival. The international community must put an end to these practises. This is a humanitarian responsibility, as well as a responsibility according to the international conventions which the Syrian regime has signed up to, and a moral responsibility which cannot be forsaken.
Syrian Human Rights Committee