The Syrian Democratic Council

The United Nations holds a meeting with the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, and appreciates their role in the field of child protection

On Monday, Mrs. Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, held a televised meeting with the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the co-presidency of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

The meeting was attended by the Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, General Mazloum Abdi, along with Mr. Abd al- Mahbash, the joint head of the Executive Council for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, in addition to the leader in the Women Protection Units, Nawruz Ahmed, and Nasreen Abdullah and Redor Khalil from the Relations Office of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the contact point military with the United Nations.

The meeting dealt with the joint work plan with the United Nations signed on June 29, 2019, and the steps taken by the SDF and the Autonomous Administration in their explicit commitment to it. Mrs. Gamba praised the great progress made by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Autonomous Administration for successful implementation and commitment made in this regard.

The meeting also discussed the conditions of children of non-Syrian ISIS families (Cubs of the Caliphate) detained in northern and eastern Syria, the possibility of their return to their countries of origin, and the need to establish rehabilitation centers in short and medium term in order to find a radical solution for returning them to their countries, the two sides affirmed that the detention centers are not the appropriate to place children as they are victims of armed conflict. The Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces welcomed the United Nations, through its international partners, to conduct visits to detention centers for children of ISIS families (Cubs of the Caliphate) to assess their needs.

The meeting also discussed the situation of non-Syrian foreign women and children in both Al-Hol and Roj camps and the need to find a comprehensive solution for them by urging countries that have nationals in northern and eastern Syria to respond quickly to return them to their countries and to provide the necessary support for that.

During the past year, the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria had established an agreement with the United Nations on many activities and updated laws, including:

1- Issuing a military order from the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces to prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, July 2019.

2- Demobilization of 30 children in 2019 and handing them over to their families, demobilization of 51 girls from the military forces and their inclusion in a private school under the supervision of the Education Authority in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria on January 11, 2020, with the possibility of United Nations partners reaching them and providing them with their needs, firing 18 children from the military forces, placing them in a safe center, and demobilizing 35 under-age, including 5 girls, who were returned to their families.

3- Allowing access for United Nations partners to Hori Rehabilitation Center in Al-Hasakeh, and also to a private girls ’school to assess needs and support .

4- Issuing of a military order from the SDF leadership to prevent the use of schools by military forces on July 13, 2020, evacuation of 12 schools from military presence in Hasakeh, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor and handing them over to concerned civilian authorities.

5- Establishing a committee for evaluation for those who want to join The Self-Defense Forces and training its members by United Nations partners. This committee managed, during the months of July and August 2020, to return 254 enlisted members for disqualification for military service due to their age of less than 18 years.

6- Issuing of a joint statement between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Autonomous Administration (political direction + military order) on August 29, 2020 regarding formation of a civil complaints mechanism to report any recruitment in the ranks of the components of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Internal Security Forces and other matters related to child protection. So the establishment of Child Protection Office in Armed Conflict was done.

7- Training of 243 officers and military staff from the Syrian Democratic Forces and 176 officers from internal security forces by United Nations partners on basic principles of international humanitarian law and publishing the action plan signed with the United Nations and the obligations of the Syrian Democratic Forces within the action plan.

8-Giving access to the United Nations and its international partners to  detention centers for children of ISIS families in Al-Hasakeh. (Underway).

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, during the years 2019 and 2020, through cooperation and coordination with many countries, returned 186 women and 269 children from 20 different nationalities to their countries of origin, including the Republic of Trinidad, Australia, the Russian Federation, France, Iraq, Denmark, Sweden, America, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Italy, Sudan, Norway, Germany, Britain, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Finland.

 

15 September 2020