Reports & Briefs
Waiting for No One: Civilian Survival Strategies in Syria
7 April 2016 | Report
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, over a quarter million people have lost their lives, well over a million have been injured, and more than half of the prewar population has been displaced (in many cases more than one time). At the same time, humanitarian assistance inside Syria virtually vanished due to fighting, aerial attacks, kidnapping, and restrictions on the flow of aid.
Syria: Civilian Harm and Assistance
16 September 2013 | Policy Brief
The horror of the Syrian conflict is reflected in the accounts we heard from its people. The consequences of the conflict—both short and long term—are devastating for Syrians trying to cope with loss of breadwinners, their homes, loss of livelihood, and disruption of access to education and healthcare. Now, Syrians have to radically change their assumptions about how they will live and provide for themselves and their families. They are and will be in desperate need of assistance to live their lives with dignity. Given the persisting conflict, with no end in sight, it is challenging to plan for assisting civilians who’ve been harmed. But it’s incumbent upon the international community to plan for both short and long-term help as Syria’s future very much depends on the strength of it people. Planning to assist Syrians needs to be considered now in order for it to be effective when the Syrian people are in a position to begin rebuilding their lives. This brief is intended to get policymakers, donor governments, and equipped civil society to begin thinking through what they can do to help individual Syrians and their families post-harm.
Opposition Aid in Syria: Recommendations on Civilian Security
07 March 2013 | Policy Brief
Committing aid and technical assistance to the Syrian opposition must be matched with a commitment to good civilian protection and security practices. This brief offers specific considerations under three categories of known assistance: technical assistance to the armed opposition, provision of material support to political opposition, provision of material support to armed opposition.
Syria: Minimizing Civilian Harm During Military Intervention
26 February 2013 | Policy Brief
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the international community has debated the need for, and potential efficacy of, military intervention to stop the Assad regime's brutal suppression of the political opposition and to prevent atrocities against the civilian population. Center for Civilians in Conflict with support from the American Society of International Law (ASIL) convened a roundtable of knowledgeable of policymakers, military planners, humanitarian and protection experts, and legal academics to consider military options for foreign involvement in Syria specifically through a civilian harm mitigation lens. The five options included: training and equipping the armed opposition; conducting limited airstrikes; deploying Patriot batteries around Syria; creating no-fly and no-drive zones; and deploying an international security force post-conflict.
Issue Brief: Civilian Protection in Syria
06 December 2012 | Policy Brief
This short issue brief provides general background information on the civilian protection mindset of Syria’s armed opposition, as well as recommendations for governments and others considering providing weapons to the rebels. It is not an exhaustive guide, but rather a rough assessment meant to highlight critical issues and civilians protection concerns as they pertain to the rebels. Research for this brief was conducted during two field missions to assess civilian protection issues associated with the Syrian conflict. First, in June and July 2012, Center staff traveled to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey to assess pressing humanitarian and protection concerns facing civilians fleeing Syria. CIVIC also began assessing the impact of the armed opposition’s tactics on the civilian population inside Syria. Center staff returned to the region in September 2012, including travel into Syria, to dig deeper into rebel factions’ civilian protection mind set. Most interviewees requested anonymity.
Dispatches from Syria were designed by Jessica Whiteford with creative direction from Caroline Kavit.
Dispatches from Syria: Voices of the Most Vulnerable | December 2013
Dispatches from Syria: Explosive Remnants of War | December 2013
Dispatches from Syria: Picking up the Pieces | December 2013
Backgrounder: Civilian Harm Tracking
Testimony & Advocacy
Public Acknowledgement and Investigations of U.S. “Targeted Killings” and Drone Strikes
13 May 2015 | Joint Letter to President Obama
After the President Obama's administration publicly acknowledged and apologized for the deaths of two civilians—U.S. citizen Warren Weinstein and Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto—in a January 2015 strike in Pakistan, CIVIC urged for the adoption of the same approach to all other U.S. counterterrorism strikes in which civilians have been injured or killed—regardless of their nationalities.
CIVIC Remarks at SOCOM Legal Conference
27 February 2015 | Speech
Sahr Muhammedally, Senior Program Manager MENA and South Asia at CIVIC, spoke at the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Legal Conference on February 25, 2015.
Don’t Forget the Civilians in the Fight Against ISIS
16 July 2014 | Atlantic Council | Sahr Muhammedally
US: Civilian Protection Should be Prioritized in Syria and Iraq Operations | 26 September 2014
Civilians Fleeing Syria Face Obstacles to Medical Care | 02 July 2012
Syrian Civilians Say Risks Increasing | 29 June 2012
Agreement on Chemical Weapons Alone Will Not End Suffering in Syria | 12 September 2013
Assisting Syrian War Victims | 14 August 2013
A Check on Lethal Aid to Syria | 22 May 2013
What to do for Syrians While the World Debates | 07 May 2013