International Community Must Meet Physical, Mental Health Needs Of Syrian Women Who Experience Violence

“December 10 marks Human Rights Day, which this year celebrates 20 years since the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action — a reaffirmation of the global community’s commitment to human rights. It is also two decades since the U.N. General Assembly’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,” a Lancet editorial states. “The anniversary represents a time to reflect on how far the world has come in protecting the rights, safety, health, and dignity of women, and — in complex conflict situations like Syria — how far we have to go,” the editorial continues, noting the recent release of a report (.pdf) by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) that “contains evidence of targeted abuse against women in the country.” The Lancet highlights several of the report’s findings, concluding, “Evidence of violence against women in Syria is mounting. International agencies, non-governmental organizations, and asylum countries supporting Syrian citizens can respond by ensuring their services meet the clinical and psychosocial needs of women who have experienced violence” (12/7).