Since the outbreak of violence in Syria in March 2011, more than 190,000 people have died according to the UN. Among other atrocities that have occurred during the conflict, there have been serious violations of medical neutrality. PHR has been documenting attacks on medical personnel and facilities across the country in this interactive map.
In light of reports of apparent chemical weapon attacks in Syria, PHR has made available chemical weapons fact sheets meant to educate and provide guidance to physicians who may become first responders in a chemical warfare agents attack. We have also developed an informational fact sheet on nerve agent exposure and chemical weapons evidence collection meant to provide an overview of the deadly effects of nerve agents, as well as the procedure for the professional documentation of evidence of chemical warfare agents use and exposure.
Attacks on Health Care in Syria Continue, Defying U.N. Resolutions (April 17, 2015)
Deliberate attacks on hospitals and health care professionals in Syria persist despite three United Nations resolutions aimed at protecting civilians and new hopes of relief following recent international pledges of aid to Syrians in need, according to an online map of attacks on health PHR updated today.
PHR Alarmed by Repeated Reports of Chemical Attacks in Syria (March 26, 2015)
PHR is alarmed by new reports of suspected chemical barrel bomb attacks in Syria, pointing to the fifth attack in 10 days, and calls on the United Nations Security Council to implement its own resolutions to stop indiscriminate attacks.
New Reports of Chemical Attacks in Syria Require Investigation, says Physicians for Human Rights (March 18, 2015)
PHR is alarmed by new reports of chemical barrel bomb attacks in the Syrian village of Sarmin and calls on the UN Security Council to conduct an inquiry.
Deliberate and indiscriminate attacks have decimated the ranks of health professionals and devastated the medical infrastructure in Syria, exacerbating a humanitarian crisis.
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Under the Gun: Practicing Medicine in Syria (March 10, 2015)
By the end of 2011, government security forces were bringing detained members of the opposition to my hospital for treatment. Members of the security forces would insult and physically attack the medical staff, while also causing chaos by shooting their weapons into the air.
Documentation Vital to Ending Attacks on Health Care Workers (January 15, 2015)
2014 was a distressing year for health care workers in conflict areas around the world, as attacks on medical professionals and facilities were carried out in numerous countries. As these attacks continue, they must be appropriately documented in order to increase available information, raise awareness, and find appropriate solutions that facilitate accountability and ultimately prevent future violence.
Critical Condition: a Syrian Female Doctor Makes a Desperate Plea to the U.N. for Help (November 4, 2014)
Before the uprising began more than three years ago, the Syrian healthcare system was suffering, but now it is in critical condition and desperate need of life-saving support.
Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence (October 2, 2014)
When studying in Jordan last fall, I was stunned by the silence around sexual violence experienced by women in Syrian refugee camps. In Arab communities, where social stigma and family honor carry huge weight, consequences of sexual violence extend far beyond scarring psychological trauma to fear of alienation and even honor killing.
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The Crisis in Syria Turns Four (March 2015)
Ahead of the four-year anniversary of the crisis in Syria, Physicians for Human Rights and partner organizations call on permanent members of the UN Security Council to refrain from using their veto power when confronted with a crisis in which civilians are at impending risk of atrocity crimes.
The consequences of the international community’s failure to protect Syrians from systematic and repeated violations of both human rights and humanitarian law have been devastating. Yet, one in particular stands out: the erosion of the long-established principle that neither militaries nor armed groups can target medical workers and the health care system for attacks.
Syria's Medical Community Under Assault (February 2015)
This fact sheet illustrates the deliberate targeting and destruction of medical facilities by government and opposition forces, loss of medical personnel, and resulting health consequences in Syria.
Physicians for Human Rights and partner NGOs welcome the United Nations Security Council resolution, which directly authorizes UN agencies and their implementing partners to deliver aid across Syria’s borders and conflict lines.
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The Syrian government has responded to popular protests with months of sustained and extreme violence and intimidation, and an all-out assault on the country’s medical system. PHR has documented attacks on Syria’s medical profession – violations that are but one aspect of the myriad abuses the Syrian people have endured over the past several months. Read More »