Children on the Margins: The Impacts of Depriving Children of their Right to Nationality and Legal Identity in Northwest Syria

A report by the Fletcher International Law Practicum (FILP) in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

FILP Supervisor & Lead Author, Christine Bustany, Senior Lecturer in International Law, The Fletcher School at Tufts University

On July 10, 2023, the UN Security Council failed to renew authorization for critical cross-border humanitarian aid access into Northwest Syria (NWS), on which 90 percent of the population depends. A new report finds that, compounding the humanitarian crisis, hundreds of thousands of children living in opposition-held areas in Northwest Syria are being denied access to their rights to nationality and legal identity, resulting in profound deprivations of their most basic rights. If their rights to nationality and legal identity are not ensured, these children, and the adults they become, will remain living on the margins, vulnerable to the harms associated with exclusion and statelessness. 

Based on in-depth research, this report documents the many deprivations experienced by children in NWS that flow as a result of not having access to their nationality and legal identity, features case studies, and provides recommendations on how to address these fundamental children’s rights violations.

FILP Masters of Law and Diplomacy (MALD) and Master of Law (LLM) students: Khulood Fahim (MALD ‘22); Shuchi Purohit (LLM ‘22); Amal Rass (MALD ‘22); Gaurav Redhal (LLM ‘22); Michael Vandergriff (MALD ‘22); Alex Avaneszadeh (MALD ‘23); Zaina Basha Masri (MALD ‘24); Samata Sharma Gelal (MALD ‘24); Shahzel Najam (LLM ‘23); Padmini Subhashree (LLM ‘23)

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