UN expert urges the US to remove sanctions and allow Syria to rebuild

Destroyed buildings in Arihah, Syria Destroyed buildings in Arihah, Syria Photo by Khaled Akacha on Pexels

29 December 2020

A UN human rights expert underlined the necessity to remove US sanctions against Syria which do not allow the rebuilding of civilian infrastructure.

On Tuesday 29 December, Alena Douhan, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impacts of unilateral coercive measures on human rights advised that the United States sanctions imposed with the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act in June 2020 are violating human rights of Syrian people. 

The US imposed additional sanctions through the Caesar Act intending to constrain the Syrian government to stop its murderous attacks on civilians and to support a democratic transition to a government that respects the rule of law and human rights. The sanctions target any foreigner helping in the reconstruction of the devastated country, providing financial, material, or technological support to the government and selling or providing goods that facilitates the Syrian government's production of oil and gas. Thus, the UN expert warned that the Caesar Act worsens the ongoing humanitarian crisis since the destroyed Syrian economy needs to rely on foreign assistance to grant humanitarian aid and to rebuild essential infrastructure. 

Indeed, after the 10-years crisis, thousands of Syrian people are dependent on international assistance and humanitarian aid, since the majority of schools have been destroyed and only half of the health system is fully functional. Moreover, humanitarian needs are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting those living in densely populated areas and camps. As a result, the UN expert underlined how the Caesar Act worsens an already critical situation putting at risk Syrian people’s rights to housing, health, and an adequate standard of living and development. 

 

 To know more, please read:

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1081032

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53076994

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26630&LangID=E

https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/unicef-whole-syria-humanitarian-situation-report-1-30-november-2020

 

Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editor: Benedetta Spizzichino

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