Need for human rights watch groups in the wake of ethnic conflict

The war in Syria is no longer a civil war but a full-fledged ethnic conflict. Several thousands have lost lives, while thousands of others have been rendered homeless, with many fleeing across the Syrian border every day. As the war continues to wage on, there is a growing need for a more involved participation of human rights watch groups in the country.

Many Syrian cities are witnessing rampant war crimes that are being committed by the Syrian army, as well as the rebels alike. Air strikes by the Syrian air force have been carried out ruthlessly, demonstrating complete disregard to civilians including women and innocent children. There are videos on the Internet that show children handling unexploded ammunitions and bombs, which is not just disturbing but also puts a very big question mark on the future of the country. Children, especially young boys, are also being used as human shields by security forces to enter areas that are held by the rebels.

Many people have ‘disappeared’ from Syria, as abductions have become increasingly common in the country. And if one takes past statistics into consideration, these numbers are only increasing with every passing day. This is a strategy devised by the rebels to terrorise people. The strategy has been working quite well till date, as victimised families fear for their safety and are looking forward for some compromise to be reached soon. Other war crimes relating to torture and extrajudicial execution of government loyalists as well as detainees have been reported from all parts of the country.

Moreover, the indiscriminate bombing and shelling along with artillery attacks on residential areas have intensified over the last few months. As Syrians are fleeing to neighbouring countries for refuge, those countries are also working on laws to curb entry on their borders.

Such unlawful repression and killing of civilians have been condemned by international communities across the globe. They, along with the Arab League, have tried to put pressure on the Assad government, asking it to make efforts to end the ongoing violence in Syria; though there have been no breakthroughs till now. As 2012 draws to a close, the UN Security Council is expected to take firm action to stop the cycle of violence in the country. The consequences of that are yet to be seen; however, as of now, there seems to be no respite from the ongoing violence and shambles.

Moreover, the recently created opposition front of Syria needs to ask the opposition groups to conform to war and human rights laws, while holding the violators accountable. Even those countries that are financing and helping the opposition forces need to make it known to them that violation to humanitarian laws cannot be ignored at any level. It is, therefore, not only important but necessary for human rights watch groups to increase their involvement in the current Syrian crisis by reporting crimes and violations that are affecting the lives of civilians in the country.