Side event on "Forcible Transfer of Population in Syria"

Geneva, UNHRC, 37th Session, Palais des Nations, 26 February 2018

On the occasion of the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justice and the Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum convened a side Event on "Forcible Transfer of Population in Syria", which was held on Monday 26 February 2018 (from 10:30 – 12:00, Room XXV, Palais des Nations, United Nations Office in Geneva). The meeting wasco-sponsored by the Governments of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Lichtenstein, Netherlands and Sweden.
Panelists of the meeting, co-Chaired by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary General No Peace Without Justice and Hussein Sabbagh, Secretary General of Euro-Syrian Democratic Forum, included Noura AlJizawi, Start point; Anwar Albuni, Syrian Center for Legal Researches and Studies and James Rodehaver, Coordinator, Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (CoI). Welcome remarks were made by H.E. Anders Samuelsen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark; H.E. Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands; H.E. Aurelia Frick, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Liechtenstein. Closing remarks were made by Sébastien Beaulieu, Executive Director for Syria, Canada.

By focusing on the forcible transfer of population in Syria, this side event reviewed the fundamental issues of accountability and transitional justice as essential components of any future negotiation on Syria. The meeting also served as a reminder that the rights of IDPs and refugees need to be part and parcel of a political settlement and are addressed not exclusively through a humanitarian approach. Proper mechanisms and procedures need to be set up to protect and guarantee property rights and the return of homes and properties to their legitimate owners; to ensure the right to vote to those that have been forcibly removed from their homes and electoral constituencies; and halt resettlement operations that are being carried out in the cities and neighborhoods whose residents have been displaced.

For further information, please contact Gianluca Eramo (MENA Democracy program Director) on or Nicola Giovannini (Press & Public Affairs Coordinator) on