The population of Syria is 22,198,110.
• 0-14 yrs. 36.4 %
• 15-64 yrs. 59.9%
• 65+ yrs. 3.7%
• Arab 90.3%
• Kurds, Armenians and others make up the other 9.7%
• Sunni Muslim: 74%
• Various other Muslim: 16%
• Christian: 10%
• Some small Jewish communities
• 79.6% of ages 15 and up can read and write
o Male: 86%
o Female: 73.6%
Maternal Mortality Rate
• 150 per 100,000 live births
Infant Mortality Rate
• 16.14 deaths/1,000 live births
• World Ranking- 117
• Total population: 74.46 years
o Male: 72.1 years
o Female: 76.96 years
School Life Expectancy
• Male: 11 years
• Female: 10.5 years (1)
Women in Syria
• Under Syrian law, men and women are given equal rights. The reality is that women are still considerably inferior to men, especially in the judicial system:
o A rapist can have his punishment suspended if he chooses to marry his victim.
o It provides leniency for honor crimes: for example if a brother were to murder his sister for having a sexual relationship outside of marriage to protect the honor of their family.
• Syria is a transit point for opiates, hashish and cocaine that is purchased and consumed in western markets.
• Not a major issue, less than .1%
The relationship between religion and the public sector
• Islam is the most widely practiced religion and Shari’a law is practiced in family court, so Islam is very influential.
Refugee Problem: YES
• 1-1.4 million Iraqi refugees, 522,100 Palestinian refugees
Freedom of Religion, Press and Speech:
• The constitution grants these rights, but they are very much restricted in practice. The government especially cracks down on anti-government media and speech that they consider “national security risks” (3)
Trafficking in persons:
• Yes this is an issue in Syria. “It is a destination and transportation center for women and children being trafficked for sexual exploitation”
o Iraqi gangs force some women in Iraqi refugee camps into the sex trade.
• The Syrian Government has done little to combat this issue
Three Current Issues in Syria:
o The sex trade is currently a huge problem in Syria and the government is not making any effort to fight it.
o Freedom of expression is a big issue, especially as Syrians attempt to use the Internet to express themselves on sites like Facebook. (4)
o The Iraq War has led to a huge influx of refugees to seek refuge in Syria. Massive numbers of refugees are living in cramped conditions as a result. (5)
1. " UNdata | record view | School life expectancy ISCED 1-3." UNdata. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <http://data.un.org/Data.aspx?d=UNESCO&f=series%3ASLE_123>.
2. Agency, Central Intelligence . "The World Factbook: Syria." The World Factbook. N.p., 9 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html>.
3. "UNHCR | Refworld | Freedom of the Press 2009 - Syria." UNHCR Welcome. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,FREEHOU,,SYR,4b2741f68,0.html>.
4. WORTH, ROBERT F.. "Web Tastes Freedom Inside Syria, and Its Bitter - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/world/middleeast/30syria.html>.
5. Wilson, Scott. "Iraqi Refugees Overwhelm Syria (washingtonpost.com)." Washington Post - Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - washingtonpost.com. N.p., 3 Feb. 2005. Web. 18 Nov. 2010. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58648-2005Feb2.html>.