Professor Diane Marie Amann, the Emily & Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center here at the University of Georgia School of Law, took part last Friday in the launch of a report on crimes against and affecting children in Syria.
“Children of Syria – The Lost Hope,” was hosted by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that monitors, documents, and maintains a database of human rights violations in Syria, the site of a nearly ten-year-old conflict. The organization issued its Ninth Annual Report on Violations against Children in Syria (above left) on World’s Children Day, the day in November that marks the anniversary the adoptions by the UN General Assembly of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Participants in last week’s event discussed the Ninth Report, which stated that the Syrian conflict had claimed nearly 30,000 children between March 2011 and January 2021 – nearly 200 of them as a result of torture. Additional harms, many of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, documented include arrest and detention of children, forcible disappearance, attacks on schools and deprivation of education, and recruitment and use by armed forces.
Professor Amann, an expert in international criminal law and child rights, joined a panel discussing these findings, their impact on children and society at large, and avenues for redress and accountability. Amann said that the Ninth Report described conduct
“that constitutes both systematic violations of human rights in many different sectors as well as international crimes as articulated in the statutes of multiple tribunals and recognized as customary international law.”
She further outlined treaties and forums through which such conduct might be addressed.
Also speaking at the event, which is archived and available for viewing here, were: Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairman of the Syrian Network for Human Rights; Martin Leeser, a member of the Syria team at the German Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon; Dr. Troels Gauslå Engell, Senior Stabilisation Advisor on Syria to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Paula Sastrowijoto, Deputy Syria Envoy at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Lina Biscaia, Senior Legal Officer, Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes and Crimes against Children Unit of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL; Javier Perez Salmeron of the Justice Rapid Response Child Rights Expert Roster; and Valentina Falco, Team Leader-Child Protection, UN Department of Peace Operations.