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Attacks on Hospitals from Syria to Ukraine: Improving Prevention and Accountability Mechanisms

June 14, 2022

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it soon began implementing one of its frequent--and criminal--tactics that it had already been using in its military intervention in Syria: bombing healthcare and medical facilities. Syrian government forces first began targeting health workers in Syria in 2011 at the start of the Syria crisis, and Russia joined them in targeting the healthcare system upon its official entrance to the conflict in 2015. Over the course of the conflict, over 90 percent of 601 recorded attacks on medical facilities were attributable to either Syrian or Russian forces. In Ukraine, Russia has reportedly perpetrated more than 200 attacks on healthcare facilities and ambulances since the start of the invasion. The well-documented pattern of targeted attacks on healthcare in Syria and Ukraine undermines long-established and hard-won provisions under international humanitarian law intended to protect civilians during conflict. Despite the scale of the problem, which extends beyond Syria and Ukraine, there has been no prominent criminal prosecution of any alleged perpetrators of attacks on healthcare in any conflict, no establishment of a UN mandate dedicated to this issue, and no task force created by national governments specifically aimed at prevention of and accountability for these crimes. The international community's failure to compel meaningful action to stop the criminal practice of targeting healthcare in conflict after conflict has resulted in continued deaths of health workers and civilian populations.In a new issue brief by the Atlantic Council Strategic Litigation Project's Elise Baker and Gissou Nia, the two propose recommendations to UN bodies, the World Health Organization, national governments and other institutions and decision makers for concrete actions to prevent future attacks and advance accountability for past ones.

The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict and Its Food Security Implications in Northwest Syria

April 13, 2022

This report finds that ripple effects from the conflict in Ukraine threaten to exacerbate food insecurity in Northwest Syria, already rising after a decade of conflict and economic instability and compounded by severe drought that impacted last year's harvest. More than 4.1 million people are food insecure in Northwest Syria and even before conflict erupted in Ukraine, the region saw a 86% increase in food prices from January 2021 to January 2022.Additional report findings include:The price of essential food items in Northwest Syria has already increased between 22% and 67% (varies by region) since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Price increases have been accompanied by a shortage in sunflower oil, sugar, and flour in some communities.Food needs have increased 8.3% for every $1 increase in flour prices and 6.2% for every $1 increase in wheat prices.Fuel reserves are most likely sufficient to last one to two months, largely due to insufficient storage facilities.Between 17 February and 10 March, the town of Sarmada experienced: a 44% increase in the price of bulger, 67% increase in the price of sunflower oil, 47% increase in the price of long grain rice, and 30% increase in the price of sugar.

Weaponized storytelling a la francaise: Demystifying France's narratives around its arms export policies

April 6, 2022

Through the five conflict case studies, the report explores other arguments that make up this storytelling a la francaise. Two of its pillars are the idea that French export control processes are already "strict, transparent and responsible" enough as they are, and the proposition that weapons sales are an intrinsically essential support to the country's strategic autonomy and foreign policy interests. This latter priority include the crucial need to be a reliable long-term supplier and to sustain strategic partnerships often associated with such arms trade.

No One Is Spared: Abuses Against Older People in Armed Conflict

February 1, 2022

This report describes patterns of abuses against older people affected by armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. It also draws on the situation of serious protracted violence in two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Myanmar security force atrocities against older ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State, and the experiences of older refugees in Lebanon displaced by conflict in Syria. It also includes abuses against older people in the 2020 armed conflict in the ethnic-Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Positive Peace Report 2022: Analysing the factors that build, predict and sustain peace

January 20, 2022

Peace is much more than the absence of violence. Positive Peace describes the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. The Institute has developed a conceptual framework, known as the Pillars of Peace, that outlines a system of eight factors that work together to build positive peace. Derived from a statistical analysis of over 4,000 datasets, the Pillars of Peace provides a roadmap to overcome adversity and conflict, and to build lasting peace.

The Rule of Law: Retreat from Accountability

December 23, 2019

This is Security Council Report's fifth research report on the rule of law. In it, we continue to explore the Security Council's work in upholding individual criminal accountability as an aspect of its rule of law agenda in the context of its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Through an examination of four situations the Council deals with regularly—Myanmar, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen—the research report takes stock of and assesses the Council's current attitude and actions in respect of accountability.The report shows that in some of the most devastating conflicts of recent times, Council members have–apart from general rhetoric–often ignored issues of accountability.

Economic Empowerment for Women Affected by Conflict

May 1, 2019

Since 1993, Women for Women International has served more than 479,000 marginalised women affected by conflict. Through our yearlong programme marginalised women are supported to: earn and save money; influence decisions; improve their well-being; and connect to networks for support. We see promising results in our monitoring and evaluation efforts.Based on our evidence and complemented by global studies, we highlight four key, interlinked components that are necessary for effectively supporting women's economic empowerment in conflict:1. Work with men to address discriminatory gender norms. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just "women's issues".2. Holistic and integrated programming. Women's needs and experiences in conflict are complex and interlinked. Solely economic interventions alone have not proven to yield long-term benefits.3. Build women's economic knowledge and skills. This is vital to supporting them to build agency and influence decisions, increase their income and increase their resilience to economic shocks.4. Informal and formal support networks. In the absence of government and financial services, networks are key to supporting women to access financial support, particularly for savings and income.In conclusion, this paper makes five recommendations for international governments and donors to effectively deliver on international commitments and support marginalised women's economic empowerment in conflict-affected contexts:1. Urgently increase funding for women's rights organisations.2. Support economic empowerment programmes that include men in their programme design.3. Target the most marginalised women.4. Support holistic and integrated programming.5. Listen to the needs of marginalised women and actively include them in the design, implementation and review of economic empowerment programmes.

Media Interventions and the Syrian Crisis: Can We Do More?

April 1, 2018

Media Interventions and the Syrian Crisis: Can We Do More? seeks to create a deeper understanding of the role of media interventions as strategic drivers of impact on the ongoing Syrian crisis.In exploring the impact of media interventions in this context, we conducted a landscape scan and a review of programs and approaches conducted by FilmAid, the nonprofit organization that collaborated with us on this paper.

Giving Refugees a Voice: Independent Evaluation

March 5, 2018

This report presents the results of an independent evaluation of the Giving Refugees a Voice initiative, a pilot project implemented between January 2017 and 2018 by Equiception, Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey (CSR Turkey) and an undisclosed technology partner. The initiative, funded by C&A Foundation with a grant of Euros 450,123, aimed to improve the working conditions for Syrian refugees in the apparel sector in Turkey. The pilot initiative used social media monitoring technology to analyse the public Facebook posts of millions of refugees associated with the apparel sector in Turkey. This Social Media Analysis aimed to demonstrate the systematic presence of Syrians working informally in the supply chains of the apparel sector. The purpose of this analysis was to galvanise brands, MultiStakeholder Initiatives, employers, and others to take actions and make changes that would directly improve the working conditions for Syrian men, women and young people in Turkey.

Innovative WASH Options in Situations of Severe Overcrowding

October 20, 2017

A rapid review of the literature has found a selection of innovative WASH options available for situations of severe population overcrowding and limited spaces. Case study information was collated from African, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Caribbean countries. As requested, a number of experts were consulted for their opinion where there was a lack of project evaluations or grey literature.

Still Looking for Safety: Voices of refugees from Syria on solutions for the present and future

June 16, 2017

Syrian refugees and Palestine refugees from Syria have fled their homes in search of safety. But Oxfam's 2017 research revealed that most people interviewed do not consider that they have found complete safety and protection in Lebanon. Refugees' views on what constitutes 'safety' are individual and subjective. This paper argues that the international community and host governments should not make decisions for refugees about what or where is 'safe', but instead should support refugees to find safety in the present, and determine their futures for themselves.

'We're Not There Yet...' Voices of refugees from Syria in Lebanon

May 31, 2017

As the Syrian crisis enters its sixth year, the world is witness to what has been characterized as the largest humanitarian emergency of our time. More than 11 million people have fled their homes, of whom around five million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Lebanon is hosting 1.5 million refugees from Syria, and 31,500 registered Palestinian refugees from Syria as of December 2016.This report presents the results of Oxfam's research project which looked at the perceptions and expectations of refugees in Lebanon in relation to their future, their present situation and their past experiences. It aims to open up discussion on lasting solutions that will allow refugees to influence the decisions being made and to define concepts of safe and dignified living. The report argues that the perceptions, lived experiences and expectations of the refugees themselves should be the building blocks of their future, whereby freedom to make choices is a fundamental component of dignity.