This report is the second in a series which together constitute the humanitarian file prepared by the Syrian Civic Platform (SCP). Data was collected through consultations held with nearly 3,500 diverse Syrians between October 2017 and May 2018.
Evictions and forced displacement constitute a flagrant violation of a wide range of internationally recognized human rights. They also create serious concerns among Syrians regarding their rights as individuals or groups. During the Syrian conflict, the warring parties have consistently used forced displacement as a methodical approach against individuals and population groups who have opposed their opinions and political agendas. The Government of Syria (GoS) -the strongest force on the ground- has used forced displacement regularly.
This report sheds light on the views of the population in the following nine Syrian provinces: Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, Hassakeh, Idlib, Homs, Daraa, Quneitra, Suweida, and Damascus countryside. In addition to Syria neighboring countries: Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan. This information was obtained by conducting 304 community consultation sessions between October 2017 and May 2018. A total of 3,376 people participated in these sessions, 46.6% (1,580) of whom were women. The number of participants representing civil society organizations (CSOs) numbered 705.
It is noteworthy that this report is based mainly on community consultation sessions in which Syrians’ perspectives about demographic change were identified. The report outlines the following issues as identified by participants: indicators of demographic change in Syria, the objectives behind this policy/strategy, solutions and favorable conditions for preventing or curbing demographic change, and the role of CSOs regarding demographic change.
From the consultations, the report concluded the following:
– The population in almost all Syrian villages, towns, and cities believe that the dominant forces in different regions are all carrying out forced displacement, and are trying to resettle their loyal residents to serve their long-term goals in areas under their control.
– Many groups in the Syrian population believe that forced displacement does have sectarian or ethnic objectives, particularly in diverse areas with many different national and ethnic groups.
– Demographic change takes several forms, as it begins with the forced displacement of populations from certain areas, changing the names of these areas, and finally the transfer of population groups to these areas.
The following are solutions suggested by the participants to counter the strategy of forced demographic change:
– Serious discussions towards a political solution in Syria should take place, followed by a transparent and orderly political transition.
– International safeguards should be guaranteed to limit inadmissible practices committed by various forces, in addition to binding international mechanisms that allow for the forcibly displaced to return to their homes.
– The certification and documentation of properties and ownerships.
– Heightened monitoring around the practice of granting Syrian nationality to non-Syrians.