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10 principles for respecting human rights during reconstruction efforts in Syria

Author: Nadia Bernaz, Michael Bothe, Christine Chinkin, John Dugard SC, Jared Genser, Pablo de Greiff, Geoff Gilbert, Nicola Jägers, Wayne Jordash QC, Sabine Michalowski, Justice Charles Mkandawire, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Stanley Nyamanhindi, Navi Pillay, Nelson Camilo Sánchez, Stephen Rapp, Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Clara Sandoval, Ben Saul, Carsten Stahn, David Tolbert, Arnold Tsunga, Rodrigo Uprimny, Tara Van Ho, Jens Vedsted-Hansen, Published on: 25 September 2018

"Statement of eminent jurists on legal obligations when supporting reconstruction in Syria", 24 September 2018


1. Financial or practical assistance, and the conditions attached to or associated with such assistance, must not undermine human rights protection.

2. Donors, funders, and partners need to ensure that they do not facilitate or entrench sectarian, ethnic, or religious cleansing within Syria.

3. The whereabouts of missing and disappeared persons must be investigated, documented, and disclosed

4. Relevant parties must engage in human rights due diligence before each new reconstruction project to ensure they are not complicit in past, continuous, or new violations of international law.

5. Preventative policies and practices must be adopted and implemented to combat corruption.

6. Security and justice sector reforms are required.

7. Voluntary repatriation and the return of refugees and IDPs can be facilitated provided it can be done safely and sustainably, with clear information, after consultation, and with the consent of those displaced. 

8. Violations of international criminal law and criminal breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law must be credibly and effectively investigated, prosecuted, and adequately punished.

9. Victims must have access to prompt, adequate, effective, and independent remedies capable of awarding appropriate and integral reparations.

10. Throughout the reconstruction process, particular attention must be paid to gendered and intersectional harms...

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