NEW YORK, January 26, 2018― On March 22, Syrian victims and activists will gather in Geneva, Switzerland for a public hearing-style event examining the impact of the destruction of schools in the context of the Syrian conflict. The event will be hosted by the International Center for Transitional Justice and the ten Syrian organizations that together comprise the Save Syrian Schools project. To attend, RSVP here or use the form below. A livestream will be available.
The ongoing civil war in Syria has destroyed countless lives, families, and communities, and perpetrators have shown a disturbing disregard for international human rights and international humanitarian law. The destruction of and attacks on schools are some oft-overlooked aspects of these violations, and the wanton destruction of schools has had an enormous impact on students, teachers, parents, and the fabric of the society.
The Save Syrian Schools project is an unprecedented collaboration between Syrian groups and ICTJ that aims to show the world the impact and consequences of the destruction and attacks on schools. The project draws on the strengths and capacities of the diverse participating organizations to examine the human impact of attacks on schools on Syrian society in depth and to promote accountability for those crimes.
The March 22 event is the culmination of more than a year of collaboration between the organizations. It will gather a global audience that includes activists, policy makers, international organizations, and more to hear the stories of those affected by the violations. The event will center on the voices and experiences of Syrians affected by attacks on schools in order to build awareness about the full and complex impact such attacks have had on their lives and to increase support for meaningful responses that acknowledge that complexity. It will also be a forum for issuing recommendations aimed at both the general public as well as the international policy communities for achieving four main goals:
- Stopping attacks on schools
- Protecting operational schools from targeting, destruction and military use
- Acknowledging and addressing the harm done
- Providing justice for the attacks
“While we cannot ensure an end to the conflict, we can seek to bring the voices of Syrians to as many people as possible to increase support for the victims themselves, and for meaningful and justice-oriented solutions for the harms they have experienced,” said ICTJ Executive Director Fernando Travesí.
The victim testimonies will be accompanied by a “Panel of Conscience,” comprised of internationally recognized advocates for justice. This panel will be present on stage at the event to listen to the stories of victims, lend authority and legitimacy to the recommendations issued, and provide symbolic support for all victims of the conflict, especially of destruction and attacks on schools. The panel will include Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Pablo De Greiff, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, and David Tolbert, President of ICTJ.
To attend the event, please RSVP here or use the form below. A livestream of the testimonies will be available in English, French, and Arabic on ICTJ.org.
Save Syrian Schools Organizations
- Center for Civil Society and Democracy
- The Day After
- The International Center for Transitional Justice
- Lawyers & Doctors for Human Rights
- Start Point
- Syrian Institute for Justice
- Syrian Network for Human Rights
- Violations Documentation Center in Syria
- Women Now for Development
Sam McCann, Communications Associate E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +1 917-637-3824