The UN refugee agency says more than 1.5 million people have been forced to flee the fighting in Syria
A Syrian refugee stands outside the Bashabsha camp near the Jordanian city of Ramtha on July 17. The conflict in Syria has caused a "severe internal displacement crisis" due to disrespect for international humanitarian laws, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Thursday. © Khalil Mazraawi - AFP/File
The UN refugee agency says more than 1.5 million people have been forced to flee the fighting in Syria
AFP
Last updated: August 9, 2012

UN blames Syrian displacement crisis on rights abuses

The conflict in Syria has caused a "severe internal displacement crisis" due to disrespect for international humanitarian laws, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Thursday.

"The Special Rapporteur called upon all Syrian authorities and parties to the conflict to ensure respect for international law, including human rights and humanitarian law...and prevent conditions that may lead to further forced internal displacement of persons," the OHCHR said in a statement.

"More and more people are being forced daily to flee their homes as a result of escalating violence, and are seeking refuge in host families, schools and makeshift shelters," said Chaloka Beyani, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

According to the UN, there are some 1.5 million IDPs in Syria. More than 200,000 have been displaced from the northern city of Aleppo alone since major battles broke out there on July 20.

"It is imperative that all parties to the conflict respect international humanitarian and human rights law, particularly the right to life and the right to physical integrity, and ensure the protection of IDPs as civilians," the OHCHR said.

Beyani urged Syrian authorities to allow "full and unrestricted access to IDPs by humanitarian actors ... The lack of access to healthcare, shelter, water, food and other essential services is compounding an already severe situation for the IDPs."

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