TheSyrian refugee crisis gained the title of the largest humanitarian crisis inthe world today not only because it negatively impacts the Syrians citizenswithin the nation but also because of violation of human rights that persiststhroughout the conflict. March 2011, as a part of the Arab Spring, a group of Pro-democracyprotestors rose against the Syrian government in the southern city of Deraa. Itwas reported that some teenagers painted revolutionary slogans on a schoolwalls, who were eventually caught and tortured. Security forces, afterencountering the protest, open fired on the protestors and killed multiple protestors;this tragic event led more and more people to the streets to fight againstPresident Assad and his government. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian citizens startedto demand President Assad to resign, clashing with the security forces thatcontinuously used violence to resolve the issue. As the protest got more intense,the protestors started to arm themselves and fight back.
Since theuprising of violent battles in March 2011, both forces started to clash continuouslyover the control of cities, towns, and countryside. Continuous fighting notonly destroyed the civilian living quarters and medication centers but alsothreatened the citizens to leave the city and find shelter in differentregions; some were internally displaced and some fled to neighboring countriessuch as Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. 190,000 men, women, and childrenkilled, triggering more and more people to evacuate Syria for peace and basic livingconditions. According to reports, an estimate of 11.6 million Syrian citizens hadto leave their homes, and the number is still escalating up till this day.
The humanitariansituation in Syria has been deteriorating since the start of the civil war dueto high levels of violence, intensified battles, disregard of internationallaws and obligation to protect Syrian citizens, and human rights violationcommitted by all parties. Continuous efforts to negotiate a ceasefire havefailed to tackle the issue. With their education systems, healthcare centers,and other infrastructures shattered to pieces, 13.5 million people in Syria aredesperately in need for humanitarian aid: 6.5 million are displaced, 4.6million people in hard-to-reach areas, including over 480,000 besieged. Thoughinternational organizations are finding measures to reach into Syria to providehumanitarian aid, the ever-increasing number of active conflicts has often disruptedsupply roads and forced humanitarian organizations to stop their operations or deductthe size. Especially in Yarmouk, a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian army hasblocked all entry of food and water, goods, and medical supplies that weresupposed to be provided to the 250,000 besieged civilians who are on the blinkof starvation.
Syrian children,the future of Syria, have missed their opportunities to receive education, losttheir loved ones at an early age, suffered from injuries, diseases, andmalnutrition, and saw the brutality and violence of a civil war. Furthermore,those children who lost their parents and bounded in Syria are being recruitedas child soldiers to serve as human shields and supports. Refugee children indifferent nations aren’t under the best condition either; children areespecially exposed to sexual abuses, including molestation in unprotected and packedliving conditions.It was reportedthat 11.6 million Syrian civilians were forced to leave their homes due to thepresence of an armed conflict.
Of the 11.6 million civilians who fled, about7.6 million are sheltering within Syria while 4 million refugees are in othercountries.
95 % of the 4 million refugees sought shelter in Turkey, Lebanon,Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, all of which are neighboring countries of Syria.Turkey currently has accepted the largest number of refugees, hosting about2.75 million registered refugees within its borders. Though hosting thesedesperate refugees is helpful, the negative consequences of hosting have longbeen an issue for the hosting community. As refugees arrivein neighboring countries, especially Turkey, social effects such as “theincrease in polygamy, a higher divorce rates because of polygamy, women andchild abuse, social and sectarian polarization and urban sprawl” (Effects ofthe Syrian Refugees on Turkey, 16) negatively impact both the refugees and thelocals. For example, the inflows of a large population of refugees in certaincities have caused feelings of insecurity among the local citizens.
Economic impactson the hosting nations are crucial aspects to take into consideration. With thesudden increase in population, demand for basic food products and houses rose,automatically raising the prices of the products and rents. Due to higherrental prices, locals either have to pay a higher price or leave. Averageinflation in major cities that accepted refugees had negative effects on thelocal citizens. Furthermore, the use of Syrian refugees in the industry,businesses, and agriculture as cheap, illegal workers has increasedunemployment within the local community.
The rise of Syrian shops, bakeries,and shoe manufacturers does contribute to the local economy; however, thesebusinesses are predominantly illegal, creating an unfair competition betweenthe local businesses and the Syrian businesses.Despitethe countless solutions presented to solve the humanitarian issue, thesituation in Syria has been deteriorating since the start of the civil war dueto high levels of violence, intensified battles, disregard of internationallaws, and human rights violation committed by all parties. Throughout theyears, more and more people have suffered because of neglection andindifference. I aim to shed light on this issue and acknowledge the inhumaneconditions these people face.