Since 2014, we have supported justice actors and local structures in Syria to operate 21 civil documentation centres. The centres allow ordinary Syrians to register key vital life events and to obtain legal identity papers.
People’s access to legal identification and civil documentation has been severely compromised throughout the Syrian conflict, leaving an entire generation undocumented or under-documented. The documentation centres aimed to enable Syrians to effectively enjoy some of their basic human rights.
Key vital life events —including births, marriages and deaths — continues despite conflict, and the government of Syria is obliged under international law to fulfil the right of Syrians to obtain registration as a basic human right. Civil registration services have been operating unevenly throughout the country and with a number of ILAC-supported civil registration centres in the previously non-government controlled areas in the northwest and southwest of the country.
This has affected Syrians both inside and outside of the country, and it has been a constant struggle for people who are, or have been, living in areas outside of government control. Not only has the lack of access to civil registration services affected them in times of conflict, it may also impact their ability to prove their legal identity and family relations in the future.
Overall, some 340.000 documents in the opposition-held areas have been issued by ILAC-supported civil documentation centres. Syrian lawyers and judges have supervised the documentation centres and the documents are issued in accordance with Syrian law pre-2011. ILAC closed its support to civil documentation in 2019 due to the escalation of the conflict in the areas were the ILAC-supported centres operated.
Coordination: ILAC Syria Programme