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PMTF Protection Monitoring Report - Displacements from Eastern Ghouta - April 2018


Eastern Ghouta had been under siege by the Government of Syria (GoS) and allied forces since 2013, during which movement to and from the area, including the delivery of humanitarian assistance, was severely limited and in the recent month completely blocked. The significant escalation of conflict post November 2017 marked by intensive military operations, artillery shelling and airstrikes due to clashes between GoS and Non-State Armed Groups exacerbated the already unsafe and extremely challenging conditions for Eastern Ghouta residents. Civilians had been forced to hide out in underground shelters and basements in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions with scarce access to basic necessities, including access to lifesaving medical care. By the beginning of 2018, Eastern Ghouta was partitioned into distinct areas, each under the control of different armed opposition groups. Ongoing hostilities and military operations caused many Eastern Ghouta residents to become displaced within Rural Damascus and led to the death of 1,600 civilians and the displacement of over 50,000 people (OCHA Flash Update No.3 Syria Crisis-Eastern Ghouta, 21 March 2018).

In March 2018, a local agreement was reached between the GoS and its allies, and armed opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta. As a result of this agreement, combatants and their families, as well as civilians from Eastern Ghouta experienced displacement to Idleb.

This report covers civilians from Arbin, Duma, Harasta, Kafr Batneh and Nashabiye in April 2018, and the protection risks they faced during and post-displacement.


This update is based on findings from 418 Key Informant (KI) surveys conducted by eight members of the Protection Cluster, between 7 and 10 April 2018. Participant KIs were IDPs now residing in 45 communities in seven districts and two governorates (Al Bab, A’zaz and Jebel Saman in Aleppo and Ariha, Harim, Idleb and Jisr-Ash-Shugur in Idleb). 24% of interviews were conducted in Dana sub-district of Harim, Idleb. The vast majority of the interviews – 86% (339) – were conducted in Idleb governorate. 18% of interviews resulted in referrals to protection, child protection or GBV services (74 referrals).

Key findings: 

Civilians arriving from Eastern Ghouta experienced a long, humiliating and dangerous flight process.

Increased rates of loss of civil status documents due to flight, increased risk of child labor, early marriage and lack of appropriate care for children, and psychological distress rank among the most commonly reported protection risks.

Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
07 Apr 2018 to 10 Apr 2018
Report completed
Collection Method(s): 
Key Informant Interview
Population Type(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Syrian Arab Republic
Internally Displaced People (IDPs)
Syria: Crisis 2011-2021