A group of twenty Syrian civil society organizations gathered in Istanbul between 10 and 12 September for a workshop about the role of civil society in ensuring human rights in Syria’s reconstruction. The three-day workshop was co-hosted by The Syrian Legal Development Programme and The Day After. The first two days consisted of SLDP staff and experts giving a training on international law and its applicability to businesses, holding businesses that violate human rights or contribute to war crimes accountable through judicial and non-judicial means, and the economic situation in Syria. The training also included a panel consisting of speakers from Human Rights Watch, Crisis Action, UN OHCHR and the Swiss Foreign Ministry to shed lights on different international perspectives on reconstruction.
Following this, the third day consisted of a closed-door strategizing session for Syrian civil society to discuss priorities and next steps in creating a comprehensive response to the human rights concerns of Syria’s reconstruction. Syrian civil society participants engaged in fruitful conversations regarding what their capacities are, what resources are available to them, and what next steps they can take.