Russia’s Twitter Campaign: Influencing Perceptions of the Syrian Conflict

  In the era of “fake news,” it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish falsehoods from reality, a problem that modern technology has only exacerbated. The Syrian conflict has fallen victim to this phenomenon, as a wealth of information has been generated online originating from all sides of the conflict that includes both false information […]

Revitalizing Civil Society Engagement in the Geneva Process

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura addresses the press in January 2018. Source: UNIS Vienna   When the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura first decided to form a Civil Society Support Room (CSSR) in 2016, many human rights organizations, including SJAC, were excited to have the opportunity to participate. Civil society organizations […]

Despite Promises, The Recruitment of Children Continues in Syria

Child soldiers undergo demobilization in Syria, June 2014. Source: Geneva Call   While Russia and the Syrian government promote the narrative that the Syrian conflict is winding down, fighters remain active on the ground, putting civilians, including women and children, at continued risk of harm. The fighting has also meant that the issue of child […]

Report Release: Opportunities and Impediments to Civil Society – Criminal Tribunal Engagement

  Over the past two years, Syrian civil society organizations (CSOs), including SJAC, have been working with the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to build a framework for collaboration. While there are many benefits of CSO collaboration with international criminal justice mechanisms (ICJMs), historically, close cooperation has been relatively rare. As a result, little […]

De Mistura’s Mistakes: What the New UN Special Envoy Should Learn from the Past Four Years

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura during the Munich Security Conference in 2017. Source: Wikimedia   On November 1st, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen to the position of UN Special Envoy for Syria. As the international community prepares for Staffan de Mistura’s departure from the position at the […]

The World Must Not Ignore ISIS’s Crimes Against the Druze

A group of Druze-Americans participate in a ‘Free the Hostages’ protest at the White House in Washington, DC. Photo by SJAC.   On July 25, ISIS attacked the Druze region of Sweida in southwestern Syria, leading to the deaths of over 200 people and the kidnapping of 30 civilians. While the initial attack was covered […]

What the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi Means for Syria

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss the disappearance of Khashoggi. Photo credit: Wikipedia   It has been more than two weeks since the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and prominent critic of the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in particular. His disappearance […]

Of Fathers and Sons: Incorporating Children into Transitional Justice

Abu Osama surrounded by his sons, in the documentary Of Fathers and Sons. Source: Double Exposure Film Festival   Syrian Director Talal Derki’s most recent film, Of Fathers and Sons, provides an intimate portrait of a Syrian family in Idlib, following their daily life amidst conflict. The father, Abu Osama, a member of the Al […]

Report Release: Options for Post-Conflict Property Restitution in Syria

Destruction in Barzeh, Damascus, 29 April 2014. Photo credit: Lens Young Damashqi.   Over the last seven years the destruction, abandonment, and theft of property have become defining aspects of the conflict in Syria. Six months ago, property rights became a central issue when Syria drew strong rebuke from the international community and Syrians after […]