Syrian Water Resources Platform

White Helmets (WH)


The White Helmets (also known as the Syria Civil Defence) are a community-based first responder and community worker organization established as a response to the Syrian conflict. The White Helmets numbered 2812 volunteers operating through 87 community-based teams and 33 women’s points. While the WH are often perceived as primarily responding to bombings (and it does remain one of their most critical functions). the scale of WH operations is such that only 3% of operations are actually responses to attacks.
The White Helmets’ 14 operational tasks were approved in 2014 by 78 founding members and are in line with the 15 tasks accorded to Civil Defence forces under International Humanitarian Law as established in Additional Protocol 1 (1977) to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
I. Warning.
II. Evacuation.
III. Management of shelters.
IV. Management of blackout measures.
V. Rescue.
VI. Medical services – including first aid – and follow up.
VII. Firefighting.
VIII. Detection and marking of danger areas.
IX. Decontamination and similar protective measures.
X. Provision of emergency accommodation and supplies.
XI. Emergency assistance in the restoration and maintenance of order in distressed areas.
XII. Emergency repair of indispensable public utilities.
XIII. Emergency disposal of the dead.
XIV. Assistance in the preservation of objects essential for survival.
XV. Complementary activities needed to carry out any of the tasks mentioned above.

In absence of a government body in large parts of Syria, The White Helmets provide services—not provided by any other actor—to more than 4.1 million civilian population in their areas of operation, 80% of them are women and children. Our services are free and available to any in need, these amount to key public services.
The White Helmets are a community-based civil defence organization that has been working in non-regime-held areas inside Syria since late 2013. Through their years of experience networking decentralized t

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