A Commentary On The Syrian Commission Of Inquiry Report: "I Lost My Dignity"

Syrian human rights activists protesting arbitrary detentions and disappearances during the Syrian conflict (Photo: WILPF)

On 8 March 2018, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic published its investigations covering March 2011 to December 2017 in a UN report entitled “‘I lost my dignity’: Sexual and gender-based violence in the Syrian Arab Republic”. The report finds that “rapes and other acts of sexual violence carried out by Government forces and associated militias […] formed part of a widespread and systematic attack directed against a civilian population, and amounted to crimes against humanity.”
This month, WILPF Secretary-General Madeleine Rees and London School of Economics and Political Science Emerita Professor of International Law Christine Chinkin released a commentary on the UN report that recognises it for being a “groundbreaking”. According to Chinkin and Rees, this report takes an innovative approach that demands action on sexual and gender-based violence grounded in international criminal and human rights law for peacebuilding and gendered conflict prevention. “For there to be a breakthrough on the appalling human rights violations and violations of IHL in the Syrian conflict, the multilateral system, through all its manifestations needs to work as it is supposed to do”, conclude Chinkin and Rees. “It is incumbent on the system to make that happen.”
Read a Commentary on the Conference Room Paper of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic here>>