"Humanitarian Corridor" Proposal Deeply Flawed

A statement from over 35 Syrian, regional and international humanitarian, human rights and development organisations on the Russia-Syrian proposal to establish "humanitarian corridors" out of Aleppo. 

We are extremely alarmed at Russia and Syria's joint proposal to set up so-called "humanitarian corridors" out of eastern Aleppo. We consider the proposal deeply flawed on humanitarian grounds and consider it warning for the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to urgently step up efforts to end the use of brutal siege tactics and illegal attacks on civilians.  
A true humanitarian operation would not force the people of Aleppo to choose between fleeing into the arms of their attackers or remaining in a besieged area under continued bombardment. No one should be forced to flee or remain, and measures must be put in place for the UN to ensure and monitor the safety and protection of anyone voluntarily evacuating.   
 
Far from averting a humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo, we are gravely concerned that the proposal for "humanitarian corridors" forewarns of a significant risk to civilians who remain. A ‘safe passage’ offer does not mean that those who stay behind become legitimate military targets. The city cannot be allowed to become another theatre for mass slaughter.  
 
If Russia is serious about averting a humanitarian disaster in Aleppo it should strongly support the UN's call for an immediate weekly 48-hour humanitarian pause to ensure safe, unimpeded and immediate humanitarian access – both for aid to get into Aleppo and for civilians to leave voluntarily. As long as the bombing, shelling and fighting continues, and in the absence of any genuine confidence-building measures, civilians cannot be expected to trust in the safety of walking through these proposed corridors. All efforts of the ISSG must focus on pushing for a sustained ceasefire, and for an immediate end to the shameless and unacceptable attacks on hospitals and civilian targets.  

 Signed:

  1. ASML
  2. AWO International 
  3. BINAA
  4. Bridge of Peace
  5. The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
  6. CARE International 
  7. CCFD-Terre Solidaire 
  8. Christian Aid
  9. Doctors of the World UK
  10. EuroMed Rights (EMHRN) 
  11. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  12. GOAL
  13. Hand in Hand for Syria 
  14. Human Appeal International
  15. Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHASM” /Palestine 
  16. Islamic Relief USA 
  17. Karam Foundation 
  18. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies 
  19. NuDay Syria 
  20. Oxfam
  21. Physicians for Human Rights
  22. Refugees International 
  23. Relief & Reconciliation for Syria
  24. Relief International 
  25. Rethink Rebuild Society
  26. Save the Children
  27. STAND: The Student-led Movement to End Mass Atrocities 
  28. Stichting Vluchteling
  29. Syria Relief
  30. Syria Relief and Development 
  31. Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS)
  32. Tearfund
  33. The International Rescue Committee
  34. The Syria Campaign
  35. Trocaire
  36. Vision GRAM-International 
  37. WATAN
  38. WILPF
  39. World Vision