The Lemkin Reunion: Reconstruction in Syria, March 19-20

March 13, 2019

Reconstruction in Syria: Compensating the Victims or Consolidating Genocide?

The Lemkin Reunion, 5th Annual Meeting

Shattuck Center, School of Public Policy

Central European University

(Tuesday, March 19th and Wednesday, March 20th, 2019)

The Shattuck Center invites members of the CEU community and the public to this year’s Lemkin Reunion, “Reconstruction in Syria: Compensating the Victims or Consolidating Genocide?”, taking place on March 19 - 20, 2019. Twenty scholars, professionals, and students will present their research on the topic in a series of six sessions. Please see the complete program at the end of this page.

Two of the six sessions are open to the public without registration. To register to attend one or more of the other four sessions, please send an email to no later than March 15, 2019. Seating places are limited and will be confirmed on a first come first serve basis.

March 2019 marks eight years since people in a wide web of villages and cities across the Syrian landscape took to the streets in defiance of the Assad family’s rule. Initially responding with gunfire, imprisonment and torture, the regime’s strategy evolved into the carpet bombing and mass destruction of whole rural and urban communities, culminating in the forced transfer of all remaining residents from areas such as Ghouta and eastern Aleppo, which remain largely uninhabited. Although the fighting has ebbed, the war in Syria has not ended and a political settlement has not been reached. The near ten million displaced, mainly in harsh conditions in and around Syria, do not feel safe to return to their neighbourhoods and villages. However, the Syrian government has promulgated laws enabling the construction of development projects where displaced communities once resided with no or few guarantees of compensation for displaced property owners. One such project, Marota City, plotted over the demolished informal district of Basateen al-Razi, is already under construction. What will reconstruction under the current conditions serve? Under what conditions can reconstruction in Syria be equitable?

Each year the Shattuck Center hosts the Lemkin Reunion, a gathering named in honor of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish lawyer who lost his family in the Holocaust and first coined the word genocide. He campaigned tirelessly during his life to ensure that the crime of genocide was codified as an international crime. The Lemkin Reunion gathers policymakers involved in responding to atrocity crimes and assesses the lessons they learned.