ESCR-Net Stands in Solidarity with the People of Turkey and Syria, Calls for Stronger International Assistance and Co-operation

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, February 15, 2023

ESCR-Net, represented by its global membership, secretariat and board, stands in solidarity with the people of Syria and Turkey as they endure a devastating tragedy following the massive earthquakes on 6 February 2023. In this hour of calamity, we ask that all relevant stakeholders, namely government representatives and international organisations, to urgently and immediately provide all the necessary aid and support to all those affected, without any political bias, discrimination or hesitation.

As of Sunday, 12 February, the disaster has killed more than 40,000 people, while thousands of others continue to languish under the rubble and in harsh weather conditions, pleading for help that is yet to reach many people and families. Thousands of people continue to be missing, whereas hundreds of thousands have been displaced. The catastrophic magnitude of the earthquakes continues to unfold and heighten a week after the event.

The earthquakes have had particularly devastating impacts on people in northern Syria. Especially north-west Syria, where the population have already endured years of suffering through the ongoing, brutal conflict and war. The international community and humanitarian organisations must quickly and proportionately respond to the magnitude of the disaster in northern Syria.

All powers exercising control over the Syrian borders must allow for the passage of humanitarian assistance, immediately and unconditionally, based on their domestic and extraterritorial obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including by providing international assistance and co-operation. Borders must be opened. Local organisations responding to the disaster on the ground with limited resources and capacity must be supported. Often, it is impoverished, working class and marginalized communities who suffer disproportionately due to pre-existing vulnerabilities, often as a result of government policies and related corporate capture of government decision-making and resources. The world must, and can, find ways to stop failing the people in the north of Syria. The current humanitarian emergency risks become a series of systemic human rights violations. Time is ticking.

Working Group(s):