Syria Sanctions Statement
· Over 50,000 people in Syria and Türkiye were killed and 100,000 injured by devastating
· Syria was already ravaged by 12 years of war;
· UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the
enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, condemned sanctions on Syria as
“suffocating” in 2022 and called for their “immediate lifting”. She stated: “No reference
to good objectives of unilateral sanctions justifies the violation of fundamental human
rights. The international community has an obligation of solidarity and assistance to the
· The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (2023), which has been entrusted by the Government of
Canada to distribute its aid in Syria, also “appeal[ed] for the lifting of the economic
· The United States has suspended some of its sanctions on Syria, in response to the
earthquake. “However, [UN experts] wish to recall that such systems of humanitarian
carve-outs may not be sufficient to address the long term negative effects of sanctions, as
well as business over-compliance with sanctions and financial de-risking” (UN, 2023).
· Clare Daly (2023), Member of the European Parliament, cautions “thousands more may
die” if the embargo against Syria does not end.
The McMaster University Graduate Students Association calls upon the Government of
Canada to immediately end sanctions against Syria, urge other sanctioning states to
follow suit, and amplify its aid and rescue efforts to all in the region.