Report Title: The War in Syria and Iraq: Humanitarian Aspects
Rapporteur: Joëlle GARRIAUD-MAYLAM (France)
The 6-year-old war in Syria is the worst man-made disaster of this century. Over 400,000 people have been killed and approximately 5 million have been injured. Millions of people – including women and children – have been uprooted, suffering from arbitrary detention, torture, rape, kidnapping, food and water deprivation, inadequate shelter and a lack of medical support and education. In five years, the life expectancy of Syrians plummeted from an average of 71 years to 55.4 years, lower than in Afghanistan or Libya (Sparrow, 2017). The conflict in Syria, which spilled over to Iraq in 2014, and particularly the images from last year’s siege on Aleppo and the fight over Mosul as well as chemical attacks on the Syrian towns of Ghouta (2013) and Khan Sheikhoun (2017), took the brutality of war to a level unwitnessed before. As a result, many began to inquire into the violations of the laws of armed conflict and human rights—crimes which have tested the conscience of the world.