Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic

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Since the unrest began in March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic, millions of women, men, girls and boys have been affected and suffered violations at the hands of warring parties. Over 5.6 million have fled the country and 6.6 million are internally displaced, as of April 2018. Already in 2016, the United Nations estimated that 400,000 people had died as a result of the conflict. Thousands of civilians have suffered at the hands of brutal non-State armed groups, including ISIL. Government forces and affiliated militias have arbitrarily or unlawfully detaining tens of thousands of individuals in official and makeshift detention centres throughout the country.
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Syrian Arab Republic

Latest news

Rampant human rights violations and war crimes as war-torn Idlib faces the pandemic UN Syria Commission of Inquiry report
7 July 2020
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: As global pandemic reaches Syria, fighting must stop and urgent steps taken to prevent an even greater tragedy
28 March 2020
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Unprecedented levels of displacement and dire conditions for civilians in the Syrian Arab Republic
2 March 2020
العربية | English

Parties to the conflict must act immediately and collectively to bring meaningful respite to civilians in northwest Syria
4 February 2020
العربية | English

All news...


Mandate

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic was established on 22 August 2011 by the Human Rights Council through resolution S-17/1.The mandate of the Commission is to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law since March 2011 in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Human Rights Council also tasked the Commission with establishing the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and of the crimes perpetrated and, where possible, to identify those responsible with a view of ensuring that perpetrators of violations, including those that may constitute crimes against humanity, are held accountable. The Human Rights Council has repeatedly extended the Commission's mandate since then, most recently until 31 March 2021.
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Call for Submissions

العربية | English

The Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic invites individuals, groups, organizations, and Member States to submit information and documentation related to its mandate via the email or postal addresses below. In particular, the Commission would welcome:

  • Information concerning the facts and circumstances regarding specific alleged violations and abuses;

  • Information concerning the identity of individuals, military units, and armed group entities responsible for such violations; and

  • Views concerning targeted recommendations to duty bearers and conflicting parties active in the Syrian Arab Republic to increase human rights protections and promote accountability.

Procedure for submissions for regular mandated reports:

The Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic reports to the Human Rights Council three times per year, with written reports prepared for the September and March sessions, and an Oral Update during the June Session. The September mandated report covers the period from January to June, while the March mandated report covers the period from July to December.

Submissions for the September mandated report (covering events during the period January-June) should be sent no later than 1 June.

Submissions for the March mandated report (covering events during the period July-December ) should be sent no later than 1 December.

All submissions must be provided in writing to the email or postal address below, and must include

  • The contact details for the author(s) of the submission;
  • Whether the submission, or any part of it, should be treated confidentially.

The Commission of Inquiry encourages contributors to submit information in Arabic, English, and/or French. Submissions in other official United Nations languages are welcome, but may take longer to process.

Note concerning submissions for special mandate reports:

From time to time, the Commission is mandated by the Human Rights Council to conduct specific inquiries and produce urgent updates or full reports. In such cases, Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic invites individuals, groups, organizations, and Member States to submit information and documentation related to such special mandates as soon as practical after the adoption of such mandates. 

Public hearings

Members

Current Commissioners:

Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Brazil), Chair
Karen Koning AbuZayd (United States)
Hanny Megally (Egypt)

Former Commissioners:

Carla del Ponte (Switzerland)
Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand)
Yakin Erturk (Turkey) 

Documentation

2020

20th report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/44/61
7 July 2020
English
Special inquiry into events in Idlib and surrounding areas – attacks impacting civilians and civilian infrastructures (infographic)

19th report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/43/57
2 March 2020
See available languages

“’They have erased the dreams of my children’: children’s rights in the Syrian Arab Republic”: Conference Room Paper - A/HRC/43/CRP.6 
16 January 2020
العربية | English

2019

18th report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/42/51
11 September 2019
See available languages

17th report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic - A/HRC/40/70
28 February 2019
See available languages

All documents…


Press Releases

Rampant human rights violations and war crimes as war-torn Idlib faces the pandemic UN Syria Commission of Inquiry report
7 July 2020
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: As global pandemic reaches Syria, fighting must stop and urgent steps taken to prevent an even greater tragedy
28 March 2020
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Unprecedented levels of displacement and dire conditions for civilians in the Syrian Arab Republic
2 March 2020
العربية | English

Parties to the conflict must act immediately and collectively to bring meaningful respite to civilians in northwest Syria
4 February 2020
العربية | English

“They have erased the dreams of my children”: UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria Publishes Report on Children’s Rights over the course of the Syrian War
16 January 2020
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: A new wave of violence is the last thing Syrians need
10 October 2019
English | العربية

Escalating violence and waves of displacement continue to torment civilians during eighth year of Syrian conflict
11 September 2019
العربية | English

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Temporary Agreement on Idlib a welcome provisional step
21 September 2018
العربية | English

All press releases...




Statements

Press conference opening remarks by Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, on the special inquiry in Idlib region
العربية | English
7 July 2020

Statement by Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, at 43rd Human Rights Council session
English
9 March 2020

Statement by Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic at the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council
English
17 September 2019

Statement by Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic at the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
English
2 July 2019

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Urgent steps needed to prevent outright catastrophe in north-western Syria
English | العربية
9 May 2019

UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria: Respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights must not be undermined for political expediency or sacrificed for security considerations
English | العربية
9 May 2019

Statement at Human Rights Council, 40th session
English
12 March 2019

Statement at Human Rights Council, 39th session
English
17 September 2018

All statements…


Feature Stories

Displaced and afraid in Idlib, Syria
Warring parties in Idlib have given little consideration for civilian lives and have caused massive displacements. UN experts propose recommendations to address the situation of the displaced.
2 October 2018
Report: No one unaffected by sexual and gender-based violence in Syrian conflict
“It is utterly repugnant that brutal acts of sexual and gender-based violence have been perpetrated throughout Syria for over six and a half years,” said Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. He made his remarks during an event launching a report that looked into the pervasiveness of the issue in the Syrian conflict.
28 March 2018
Syria: the most dangerous place for children?
Civil society actors give the Human Rights Council information on violations of children’s rights in Syria and recommendations on how to protect rights of these children.
16 March 2018
UN human rights investigators decry targeting of civilians in Syria
“The only way to end civilian suffering is to end this war,” the Commission of Inquiry on Syria told the Human Rights Council, as the conflict rages into its seventh year.
16 June 2017
Protecting the rights of detainees in Syria
Protection of detainees and the disappeared in Syria was the focus of a recent panel discussion held during the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The discussion focused on the experiences of former detainees as well as providing some ways forward.
11 April 2017

More Feature stories

Infographics

Miscellaneous

COI Syria report 44/61: Special inquiry into events in Idlib and surrounding areas
COI Syria report 44/61: Special inquiry into events in Idlib and surrounding areas
 
Photos of COI Syria activities including presentations to the Human Rights Council and press encounters. ©UN Geneva
 
Idlib and surrounding areas – attacks impacting civilians and civilian infrastructures ©UNHRC 
Idlib and surrounding areas – attacks impacting civilians and civilian infrastructures ©UNHRC

Contact

For any query or to submit information, please contact:
Email
coisyria@ohchr.org

Mailing address:
Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

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