Syria/Türkiye: Human rights must be ‘at the heart of response’ to earthquakes

Human rights protection must be upheld following the catastrophic earthquakes that devastated south-eastern Türkiye and northern Syria on 6 February and again on 20 February, Amnesty International said today in a new publication outlining human rights concerns and obligations of the authorities.

“The humanitarian crises resulting from these catastrophic earthquakes have led to a worsening of the human rights situation in both Syria and Türkiye by exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities,” said Nils Muižnieks, Amnesty International’s Europe Director.

“In times of crisis, it is vital that human rights protections are at the heart of the response. It is essential that authorities in each country ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered effectively and fairly and uphold all international human rights standards.”


The new publication Syria/Türkiye: A Human Rights Response to the February Earthquakes, details human rights issues in both Syria and Türkiye, including concerns around the right to life, protection against arbitrary detention, security of the person, freedom from torture and other ill-treatment, freedom of expression and association, and protection of the rights of displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

The protection of economic, social, and cultural rights ensuring access to housing, adequate food, potable water, sanitation and healthcare is also crucial.

The challenges faced by women, children, displaced people, older people, people with disabilities, LGBTI people, ethnic and racial minorities, and other groups, particularly at risk groups, must also be taken into account and addressed in relief measures.