Human rights- these are norms that
help to protect all people in the world from severe political, legal, and
social abuses. “For example, right to freedom of religion or worship, right to
a fair trial when charged with a crime, right not to be tortured, and right to
engage in political activity. These rights exist in morality and in law at the
national and international levels.
Each State has an obligation to
take measures to ensure that every human being within their territory can enjoy
the rights set out in the treaty. Each treaty is a separate legal instrument
and states have the liberty of choosing the agreements to accept and those not
to accept. Agreements and treaty bodies magnitude of functionality depends on
two factors: 1.states acceptance of all the core international human rights
treaties and enforcing them.2.coordination of the treaty bodies with their
activities to achieve consistency in monitoring and implementation of human
rights both at national and international levels.
The Syrian civil war has been a
topic of discussion in the International arena over time. The war broke out in
March 2011 as a pro-democracy protest in a bid to release of youths who had
been arrested and tortured after they painted revolutionary slogans in the
walls of their school.
In the discussion of my paper, the
case study of the Syrian war, I will majorly focus my arguments on the nine
core international human rights treaties that set out the global principles for
the guarding and advancement of human rights, which states subscribe to by
becoming parties. These agreements are:
The Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The Convention on the Economic, the Social and the Cultural Rights.
• The global Convention on the Civil and the
• The Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women.
• The international resolution against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
• The Convention on the Rights of the Child
• The declaration on the Protection of the
Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.
• The pact on the Rights of Persons with
• The International Convention for
the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.”
HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS AND
Use of force against unarmed civilians
Several reports demonstrate that
the Syrian government had attacked civilians at bread bakeries with weaponry
rounds and rockets in the opposition-controlled cities and districts in Aleppo
province and Aleppo city, shooting indiscriminately. Human Rights Watch (HRW) classified the acts
as war crimes since the military was targeting areas that were dominated by the
rebel groups, who were the ones in charge of the bakeries. The Syrian government retook the city
Damascus after the conflict of Damascus (2012), engineered the campaign of
universal reprimand against the Sunni suburbs residing within the town. This
was because they supported the free Syrian army.
The international treaties that
come into play are:
a) The Convention on the Rights of Persons
b) The International Convention on the
Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families-
c) The International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights-ratified
Attack of medical personnel’s
According to the United
Nation’sIndependent worldwide directive of Inquiry, the medical staff had been
targeted during the civil war. Rendering to Physicians for Human beings Rights,
the government of Syria “responded to popular protests with months of
continued extreme violence and intimidation, and an all-out assault on the
country’s medical system. The government
has repudiated “wounded civilians impartial medical care,” occupied,
attacked and misused hospitals, attacked and impeded medical locomotives, and
detained and tortured doctors for looking after wounded civilians, according to
the group. In government-run hospitals, consisting of pro-regime staff
“routinely performed amputations for minor injuries, as a form of
penance,” wounded protesters were taken from hospital wards by security
and intelligence agents. Ambulances with injured protesters were commandeered
by security agents to go to facilities for interrogation and sometimes
torture. In response, medical practitioners
created secret medical units to treat injured.
Treaties at play are:
a) The International Convention on the
Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their
Numerous testimonies reported the
practice of sexual torture used on male detainees. Men were routinely made to
undress and remain naked. Several former detainees testified beatings of
genitals, forced oral sex, electroshocks and cigarette scorches to the anus in
custody facilities. Majority of the detainees were frequently threatened that
they would be assaulted in the presence of their family. Their wives and daughters were also raped.
Testimonies received from most of the men pointed out that they had been anally
defiled. One man testified that he saw a
15-year-old boy get defiled in his father’s presence. A 40-year-old man saw the
degradation of an 11-year-old boy by three security services officers.
Treaties at play are:
a) The Convention on the Rights of the
b) The Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment- ratified United Nations
Convention against Torture.
Torture, kidnappings, and executions
On the 20th of March, 2012, Human
Rights Watch issued an open letter to the resistance forces (including the
FSA), accusing them of carrying out kidnappings, torture, and executions, and
calling on them to halt these unlawful practices. United Nations-sponsored,
“Independent global directive of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic”
has written down the war crimes in Syria since the beginning of the civil war.
It noted that rebels had engaged in war crimes, but they, “did not reach
the gravity, frequency and scale” as the war crimes executed by state
forces. On 2 November 2012, the FSA’s
al-Siddiq Battalion abducted and eliminated renowned Syrian actor Mohammed
Rafeh. It briefed that he was a member of the shabiha and was carrying a gun
and military ID.