Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Confirmed: 60,000 Deaths In Syrian Civil War

Its easy to lose sight of the rest of the world when your native country is dysfunctional, but  it continues to turn, and tragedy continues to happen. The latest is the confirmed death of 60,000 people in the Syrian Civil War. It’s a hard number to imagine when war does not really touch your life, but this is the reality that fellow human beings in Syria face.

The death toll was revised on Wednesday by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay; it had been estimated at about 40,000 (still an unspeakably large number). The gravity of the latest revision is not only in the increase in number, but in the certainty of the caluclation. From The International’s article on the death count:

This isn’t an estimate,” emphasized Patrick Ball, chief scientist and vice president of the human rights program at Benetech, a Silicon Valley startup that develops and applies open-source technology to human rights-related uses. “We have the names of 59,000-odd people. Let’s be really clear here. This is a very conservative undercount.”

The article describes the methodology behind the claims and is clear in its insistence that the number is likely far higher. It goes on to say:

A spokesperson for the Free Syria Database, a human rights monitor whose work was consulted for the Benetech report, raises another reason to believe that available counts are low: “Since the start, many families bury their dead and don’t mention the names because of fear that the family members will be targeted by the government,”

This sort of thing makes you feel helpless. Globalization is all the rage, but what is not often acknowledged  is that in a truly global world, tragedy crosses borders as well. I do not know what the solutions to internal global affairs are, the world banding together and blowing up the factions does not seem the proper course, but how can the world stand by and allow this many people to die?

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One Response

  1. Michael Serene January 3, 2013

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