How Syrian Civil Society Lost its Independence in a War of Conflicting Agendas
Early in the conflict, as Syria fragmented into government- and rebel-held territories, Syrian civil society undertook initiatives aimed at promoting human rights and social justice. These ranged from documenting human rights violations to running workshops on and spreading the ideals of peacebuilding and transitional justice. Syrian human rights organizations—such as the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violation Documentation Center, and the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center—would later partner with the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria in an effort to reveal violations committed during the conflict and hold the perpetrators to account. Meanwhile, the work of organizations focusing on female empowerment led to women’s centers multiplying across Syria. These allowed for women to be better informed, provisioned, and engaged in society. Some women from these centers eventually took public roles in different forms of local governance. For example, the head of the women’s center in Hass, Idlib Governorate, became a member of the town’s local council.
15-05-2020 …