The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Syria

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
FB, LJ

#china #equality #freedom #human_rights #iran #politics #russia #syria #tolerance

Syria
Syrian Arab Republic

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalDamascus
Land Area 183 630km21
LocationAsia, Mediterranean, Middle East
Population21.1m (2011)2
Life Expectancy69.65yrs (2017)3
GNI$2 441 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesSY, SYR, 7605
Internet Domain.sy6
CurrencyPound (SYP)7
Telephone+9638

Syria is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Syria does worse than average in its nominal commitment to Human Rights9, eliminating modern slavery10 and in opposing gender inequality11. It falls into the bottom 20 in commentary from Human Rights Watch12, its Global Peace Index rating13, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms14, fighting corruption15 and in supporting press freedom16. And finally, it is the worst in LGBT equality17. The Syrian government has "conducted deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians", including "numerous chemical weapons attacks", with support of Russia and Iran18. Together they have "withheld humanitarian aid, employed starvation as war tactic" and used torture on perceived enemies18. Russia and China have been blocking and vetoing the United Nation's efforts to stem mass atrocities, and have prevented the International Criminal Court from starting direct investigations. Many non-state armed groups are also committing atrocities18.


1. Politics and Freedom

#burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #slavery #Syria

The ongoing fight against ISIS / ISIL / Islamic State exists amidst multiple warring factions in Syria, and more than 400,000 have died since 2011. Although the Syrian government with the help of Russia, Iran and China are responsible for the worst of it, ISIS themselves are even worse, and multiple factions conduct war with no regard for civilians' safety.

Civilian casualties from airstrikes by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS increased. [...] A number of these strikes raise concerns that the coalition failed to take necessary precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties. [...]

The Russian-Syrian military coalition conducted indiscriminate air attacks, including strikes on several medical facilities, and used incendiary weapons and cluster munitions. [...]

The Syrian government´s forces continued to use chemical weapons repeatedly, with nerve agents being deployed on at least four occasions since late 2016–in eastern Hama on December 11 and 12, 2016, northern Hama, on March 30, and Khan Sheikhoun on April 4

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)18

[Syria has been using] banned nerve agents such as sarin despite having supposedly relinquished all chemical weapons after its notorious August 2013 use of sarin in Eastern Ghouta. Russia offered a cover story for an April 2017 episode in the northwestern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun–that a Syrian conventional bomb supposedly hit a rebel cache of sarin–but that theory was conclusively disproved, so Russia responded by vetoing continuation of a UN investigation.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)19

Corruption (2012-2016)15
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score15
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
161Eritrea19.8
162Angola19.4
163Guinea-Bissau19.2
164Syria18.8
165Haiti18.8
166Yemen18.4
167Venezuela18.4
168Uzbekistan18.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)13
Pos.Lower is better13
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
143Colombia2.63
144Chad2.67
145Nigeria2.80
146Syria2.83
147Libya2.83
148Pakistan2.83
149Israel2.84
150Central African Rep.2.87
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)12
Pos.Higher is better
Score12
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
116Burundi-10
117N. Korea-10
118Malaysia-10
119Pakistan-10
120Afghanistan-10
121Congo, DR-10
122Saudi Arabia-10
123Syria-10
World Avg-1.9
q=123.

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)9
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties9
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
118Mauritius14
119Botswana14
120Madagascar14
121Syria14
122Sudan14
123Cameroon14
124Uzbekistan14
125Mauritania13
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)14
Pos.Lower is better
Rank14
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
152Algeria152
153Myanmar (Burma)153
154Venezuela154
155Central African Rep.155
156Syria156
157Iran157
158Yemen158
159Libya159
World Avg79.7
q=159.
Press Freedom (2013)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
171Vietnam7178
172China7307
173Iran7340
174Somalia7359
175Syria7853
176Turkmenistan7914
177N. Korea8390
178Eritrea8483
World Avg3249
q=178.

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
127Malaysia0.69
128Djibouti0.71
129Angola0.72
130Syria0.73
131Liberia0.74
132Guinea-Bissau0.75
133Madagascar0.75
134Malawi0.75
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends21. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery24. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity25. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia27) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery28.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Syria #women

Gender Inequality (2015)11
Pos.Lower is better11
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
130Pakistan0.55
131Ghana0.55
132Lesotho0.55
133Syria0.55
134Togo0.56
135Kenya0.56
136Egypt0.57
137Swaziland0.57
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote29
Pos.Lower is better
Year29
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
95Guyana1953
96Mexico1953
97Bhutan1953
98Syria1953
99Colombia1954
100Belize1954
101Ghana1954
102Nicaragua1955
World Avg1930
q=189.

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Syria and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Syria is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #Syria #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)17
Pos.Higher is better
Score17
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
189Libya-42
190Morocco-42
191Solomon Islands-44
192Qatar-54
193Sudan-67
194Saudi Arabia-72
195Somalia-79
196Syria-84
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence30. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws31. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries30. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

4. Syria Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Syria

Social & Moral
Development Index
32
Pos.Higher is better
Points32
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
185Mali37.7
186Sudan36.3
187Marshall Islands35.4
188Syria34.4
189Burundi34.4
190Equatorial Guinea33.5
191Central African Rep.33.3
192Afghanistan33.0
193Iraq31.9
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/syria_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#burundi #china #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #iran #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #russia #sexuality #slavery #Syria #tolerance #women

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  10. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  11. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  12. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  13. ^^
  14. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  15. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  16. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  17. Sources:^^
  18. Human Rights Watch (2018). p525-534.^^
  19. Human Rights Watch (2018). p10-11.^
  20. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  21. McCall (1979). p180.^
  22. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  23. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  27. Klein (2004) .^
  28. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  29. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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