- Introduction to the situation in Syria
- The implications of leaving Syria
- Actors of persecution or serious harm
- Refugee status
- Subsidiary protection
- Actors of protection
- Internal protection alternative
- Common analysis
- 1. Introduction to the situation in Syria
- 2. The implications of leaving Syria
- 3. Actors of persecution or serious harm
4. Refugee status
- General remarks
- 4.1. Persons perceived to be opposing the government
- 4.2. Persons who evaded or deserted military service
- 4.3. Persons with perceived links to ISIL
- 4.4. Members of and persons perceived to be collaborating with the SDF and YPG
- 4.5. Persons perceived to be opposing the SDF/YPG
- 4.6. Persons fearing forced or child recruitment by Kurdish forces
- 4.7. Persons associated with the Government of Syria
- 4.8. Journalists, other media professionals and human rights activists
- 4.9. Doctors, other medical personnel and civil defence volunteers
- 4.10. Ethno-religious groups
- 4.11. Women and girls
- 4.12. Children
- 4.13. LGBTIQ persons
5. Subsidiary protection
- 5.1. Article 15(a) QD: death penalty or execution
- 5.2. Article 15(b) QD: torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
5.3. Article 15(c) QD: indiscriminate violence in situations of armed conflict
- 5.3.1. Preliminary remarks
- 5.3.2. Armed conflict (international or internal)
- 5.3.3. Qualification of a person as a ‘civilian’
- 5.3.4. Indiscriminate violence: general approach
- 5.3.5. Serious and individual threat
- 5.3.6. Qualification of the harm as ‘threat to (a civilian’s) life or person'
- 5.3.7. Nexus/’by reason of’
- 6. Actors of protection
- 7. Internal protection alternative
- 8.1. Relevant circumstances
- 8.2. Guidance with regard to Syria
- Annex I. Abbreviations and glossary
- Annex II. Country of origin information references
Last update: February 2023
In order to determine that internal protection alternative (IPA) is available in a particular part of the applicant’s country of origin, three cumulative criteria have to be met: ‘safety’, ‘travel and admittance’ and ‘reasonableness to settle’. For the purposes of this document, the analysis focuses on the possibility of applying IPA with regard to Damascus City - the capital and the most important economic centre in Syria.
The conclusions from the assessment of the three criteria are outlined below.
The requirement of safety may be satisfied in Damascus City, depending on the profile and the individual circumstances of the applicant.
For those who have a well-founded fear of persecution by the GoS and/or by society at large, IPA in Damascus will generally not meet the criterion of safety.
Travel and admittance
For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ criterion, the assessment of the availability of IPA in Damascus City should proceed with an assessment of the requirements of safety and legality of travel and of gaining admittance. The profile and individual circumstances of the applicant should be taken into account in this regard. For individuals who would return to Syria without identity documents or without security clearance or status settlement in place prior to traveling, these requirements would not be satisfied.
Reasonableness to settle
For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ and ‘travel and admittance’ requirements under Article 8(1) QD, the availability of IPA in Damascus City will depend on the assessment of the reasonableness to settle there.
Based on the general situation in the capital city, and taking into account the applicable individual circumstances, internal protection in Damascus City may be a reasonable alternative only in exceptional cases. Such exceptional cases would in particular include some adult applicants with significant financial means or who have a support network that is willing and capable of assisting them in accessing basic subsistence if they settle in the city.
In this regard, the rapidly deteriorating economic situation, the healthcare situation and food insecurity, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on those and on the healthcare system in Damascus, should also be considered.