NPWJ organises a workshop on “Civil society and international mechanisms synergies to seek justice and accountability for Syria”

Gaziantep, Turkey, 13-15 November 2017


 
Accountability for violations of IHL and international human rights law is critical not only to ensure justice for the victims, but also to contribute to building sustainable peace and preventing recurrence. Since March 2011, the continued, systematic, widespread and gross violations and abuses of human rights and on-going violations of international humanitarian law and the lack of any meaningful path to address the crimes against humanity committed daily in Syria has led to a situation in which the sense of impunity has grown and more and more imbued within the social fabric of the country. This has deepened a general situation of insecurity and the “rule of the might” that disrupt all facets of life for the civilian population and dampen prospects to reach a political solution to the on-going conflict in Syria.
 
There have been various initiatives by the international community to address the human rights violations and crimes under international law committed by all warring parties involved in the conflict and respond to calls for justice and accountability by Syrian citizens. The United Nations have established three main international mechanisms tasked to seek accountability and justice for Syria, namely: the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (CoI), the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (IIIM). These three mechanisms, with their different mandates and reporting procedures, represent critical elements for the establishment of possible transitional justice processes in Syria. At the same time, a large amount of information about violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been collected both by Syrian and international non-governmental organisations.
 
Against this backdrop and in the framework of its Syria Program, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) organised a workshop on “Civil society and international mechanisms synergies to seek justice and accountability for Syria”, which was held in Gaziantep, Turkey, from 13 to 15 November 2017. By bringing together representatives of Syrian civil society organisations with the international mechanisms tasked to seek accountability and justice for Syria, the meeting aimed at offering an opportunity to Syrian human rights activists and civil society leaders to engage actively with and contribute to the work of international accountability options and promote a fair, effective and independent transitional justice system. It also aimed to increase and strengthen civil society technical capacity and leadership skills to allow Syrian human rights activists and democracy advocates to contribute more effectively to the design of transitional justice measures and to their implementation, whether as partners or monitors or both.
 

 
Documentation:

 
For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy program Coordinator) on geramo@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32-2-548-3915.