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Humanitarian Issue: Conflict In Syria

Syria is one of the most severely impacted nations in terms of human rights. Syrian conflict is one of the biggest and most vicious humanitarian crises in the history of the globe. Twelve million people, or more than half of Syria's population, are thought to have either been slain in their own nation or forced to flee their homes. Those that remain are either compelled to flee to neighboring nations or to live as refugees inside their own nation.

The families have struggled greatly to adjust to their new lives as refugees in neighboring nations, making it impossible for them to survive. Several of them flew to European countries in the hopes of being accepted. What awaits them is the possibility of a global epidemic, COVID-19, which will only worsen the Syrian situation. According to the United Nations, the Syrians requested an estimated 3.2 billion USD in aid in 2019, but only half of that amount was received.

When Did the Crisis in Syria Begin?

The Syrian crisis began in March 2011, with nonviolent rallies against the Syrian government. This was part of the Arab Spring protests. When the government collapsed and the opposition began fighting people, the peaceful protests quickly turned violent. However, by the month of July, an army known as the Free Syrian Army had been founded, prompting people to join as a means of protest, ultimately pushing them to join with weaponry to fight for the opposition.

The situation became even more complicated when tensions arose among various groups in Syria, such as the tension between secular groups and those who believed in a specific religious ideology, or the tension between different ethnic groups.

Reason for conflict in Syria

The conflict in Syria came up as a result of a number of issues, including political repression, economic disparity, and societal grievances fueled by the Arab Spring upheavals. The government's deadly response on nonviolent protesters fueled anti-government sentiment, prompting the formation of armed opposition groups. External engagement by regional and international forces exacerbated the conflict, while ethnic and religious divisions heightened sectarian tensions. The development of extremist groups such as ISIS exacerbated the problem. Despite diplomatic attempts, the violence continues, exacerbated by a humanitarian crisis characterized by enormous displacement and extensive suffering.

These can alse be explained as:
  • Political Repression and Authoritarian control: Decades of authoritarian control by the Assad family repressed political dissent and limited civil freedoms, causing considerable dissatisfaction among the Syrian people.
  • Social and Economic Inequality: Economic inequality, corruption, and a lack of opportunities have intensified social tensions, notably between urban and rural areas, as well as underprivileged people.
  • Arab Spring Uprisings: The Arab Spring Uprisings, a wave of pro-democracy protests that swept across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, prompted Syrians to demand political reforms and increased freedoms.
  • Armed Opposition: As the crisis escalated, opposition groups, including defected military and civilians, created armed factions to confront the government, resulting in the formation of the Free Syrian Army and other rebel organizations.
  • External Actors and Regional Dynamics: The involvement of regional and international powers such as Iran, Russia, Turkey, and Gulf nations intensified the conflict by offering assistance to various groups, escalating violence and prolonging the war.
  • Ethnic and Religious Divisions: Syria's diversified ethnic and religious terrain, which includes Arab Sunnis, Alawites, Kurds, Christians, and others, has been a source of strife, with both the government and opposition parties exploiting sectarian divisions.
  • ISIS and Extremist Groups: The development of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and other extremist organizations exploited the confusion and instability to capture territory, compounding the conflict and resulting in widespread violence.
  • Humanitarian Crisis and Displacement: The conflict's humanitarian crisis, which includes mass displacement, massive destruction, and loss of life, has exacerbated grievances and perpetuated vicious cycles of violence.

Where have the Syrians gone?

Syrians displaced by the violence have sought asylum in a variety of areas, both within and outside Syria's borders. Internally, many people have moved to safer locations away from the battle lines, seeking refuge in cities, villages, or improvised camps. Neighboring nations such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq have borne the brunt of the refugee crisis, housing millions of Syrians who have crossed their borders seeking protection. These countries have offered displaced Syrians shelter, basic services, and humanitarian relief. Furthermore, many Syrians have taken risky travels to Europe and abroad in search of asylum and better chances.

Syrian refugees have been resettled in countries such as Germany, Sweden, and France, while others have relocated to North America, Australia, and other destinations. Many displaced Syrians have sought temporary shelter in refugee camps, both in nearby countries and further away, which provide basic requirements and aid. However, Syrian displacement remains one of the most serious humanitarian issues of our day, with millions forced to escape their homes due to violence and insecurity, experiencing uncertainty and hardship in their search for safety and sanctuary.

Current situation of scenario
The current state of affairs in Syria is such that an increase in violence in the provinces of Idlib and Western Aleppo forced more than a million people to leave the nation. However, considering the COVID-19 scenario, this has simply made the damage that the Syrian people have been dealing with for a long time worse. The lives of the Syrians caught in the middle of both the war and the pandemic are currently very difficult, and the number of deaths is still rising.

Cities that formerly had a high population and projected joy and vibrancy onto its citizens are now broken and abandoned. They've been totally ruined. Human rights have been brutally violated, and the Syrian people are dying from starvation and poverty because there is a severe shortage of basic essentials including food, housing, and medical care. Millions of people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid after being internally displaced.

With the arrival of foreign forces and their forced exodus from their own nation, the situation in Syria deteriorated further.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, with profound consequences for millions of Syrians. The ongoing violence, displacement, and suffering have touched every aspect of life in the country, leaving no community untouched by the devastation of war. The displacement of Syrians, both within the country and beyond its borders, has created one of the largest refugee crises of modern times, straining resources and testing the limits of humanitarian assistance.

The international community must continue to prioritize efforts to address the humanitarian needs of Syrians, including providing lifesaving aid, protecting civilians, and supporting efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Only through concerted and sustained action can we hope to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people and pave the way for a more stable and prosperous future for the country and its citizens.


Written By: Sukhmandeep Kaur, B.A.LLB(Hons.).2nd Year, Lovely Professional University, Punjab

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