Rapid Protection Assessment: North-West Syria (June 2023)


Key Findings:

  1. Child and family separation: Following the earthquake, there were high population movements and displacements, leading to the separation of children from their parents and family members. This exposes children to additional risks of violence, abuse, and exploitation. In 34% of assessed communities, there are children without parents or family members taking care of them.

  2. Restrictions to access civil documentation and judicial processes for compensation/rehabilitation of housing, land, and property (HLP): The loss of housing and property due to the earthquake has exacerbated issues related to civil documentation and HLP rights. Limited access to civil documentation and the damage to land and civil registries hinder people's ability to claim their legal rights and access remedies. Before the earthquake, 61% of households in NWS reported at least one household member lacking civil documentation.

  3. Risks related to limited protection services and access to humanitarian assistance: There are reports of limited access to humanitarian assistance and protection services, which is a result of pre-existing access challenges in the region. Certain groups, such as those denied civil documentation and belonging to certain ethnic groups, are more exposed to these risks. Access to services such as health, food, shelter, education, and mental health support is also mentioned as lacking. 55% of respondents reported no signs of humanitarian assistance in their community.

  4. Risk of psychological abuse (MHPSS): The earthquake and ongoing conflict have caused distress and trauma, increasing the need for mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). However, the existing capacity to provide MHPSS is insufficient, leaving many without access to these critical services. 65% of all respondents reported a need for MHPSS services in their community.

  5. Denial of resources and services: Certain population groups, such as persons with disabilities, destitute older persons, homeless individuals, and children, face denial of services and assistance. Misconceptions and stigmas around disabilities contribute to the denial of services for persons with disabilities, while destitute older persons and homeless individuals lack access to basic services and support. 40% of IDPs aged 12 and above in NWS have disabilities.

  6. The assessed communities reported unsafe living conditions for women, boys, and girls, with a lack of separate facilities exacerbating the risks of gender-based violence. 23% of respondents reported the setting they are living in as unsafe for women, boys, and girls.