On 8 October 2020, JFL, STJ and TDA filed and submitted a complaint to three United Nations special rapporteurs. The complaint addressed the dire situation of Internally Displaced Syrians as a result of the loss of their evidentiary documents and the consequent effects. The three organizations called on the relevant political actors, primarily the Syrian Government and the United Nations, to find a radical solution to the problem of loss of evidentiary documents and to take effective and measurable steps aimed at finding a solution to the challenges and difficulties facing internally displaced persons and to address the complex future implications.
Indiscriminate attacks and abuses against civilians, and shelling of cities and civilian targets have forced Syrians to flee areas affected by hostilities. This has led to the internal displacement of nearly 7 million Syrians so far.
IDPs face harsh living conditions, and many lack legal documents and civil status documents such as ID card, family book, birth certificate, and death certificate. The confiscation of these documents by security and military checkpoints is one of the most important factors of such loss, as well as the high financial cost of obtaining other documents. Moreover, the documents issued by the opposition parties expose the owner to significant risks if used outside their areas of control.
Therefore,years after the displacement of Syrians without access to new documents, many of them suffer from the inability to register civil facts such as marriage and divorce,and to obtain birth certificates for newborns,which necessarily leads to the presence of thousands of stateless children and thus denied them the right to register in education facilities.
The impact of the loss of civil status documents extends to many other rights, including the right to freedom of movement (IDPs who have no civil status documents are unable to travel outside certain areas), housing, land and property rights, the capability to receive educational services and humanitarian assistance, and the right to vote and participate in political life.
Therefore, the organizations submitting the complaint called on the special rapporteurs to take into account the information contained in this complaint, to take all necessary measures to ensure that internally displaced persons enjoy all their rights under the International Bill of Human Rights, to pressure the Syrian Government and all parties to the conflict in Syria to respect the principles of international humanitarian law, to immediately stop all illegal practices of intimidation, displacement, confiscation of property and refusal to issue legal documents.