Work on developing a new social contract for Rojava and North and East Syria is nearing completion. A committee made up of representatives from grassroots councils, civil society organizations, the various communities and politicians is about to finalize a draft which is the result of the broad discussions carried out by popular assemblies. The draft of the new social contract contains 99 articles that define basic rights and freedoms, basic principles and social regulations.
"Self-Defense organizations accountable to councils"
Article 76 regulates legitimate self-defense and its connection to the councils. It states: “The Social Self-Defense Forces are responsible for protecting Northern and Eastern Syria and protecting the civilian population, their homes and property from attack and invasion. The self-defense organizations are organized under a joint general command and report to the Democratic People's Council. The local self-defense organizations are also accountable to the local people's councils.”
Sozdar Dêrik from the General Command of the YPJ described the new social contract as the basis for self-government of North and East Syria, since it deals in particular with the organization in councils, self-government from the base and the structure of the defense. Therefore, the contract is of immense importance.
“This social contract represents us”
Dêrik said: “This contract represents us. Many articles have been discussed and we have participated in the discussions. The YPJ is of great importance for the protection of society and that of the peoples.”
As an autonomous women's defense force, the YPJ sees itself represented in the contract, said Dêrik and continued: “We stand for autonomy and we will not deviate from this line. All social sectors and groups in North and East Syria should participate in the work on the social contract and protect it.”
“Self-defense is the right of all peoples”
Grassroots democratic self-organization and self-defense is of vital importance, especially in view of the global struggles over distribution, explained Dêrik, adding: “This situation is reflected in the wars in Afghanistan, Ukraine and Syria. No one defends or protects peoples who do not organize or defend themselves. You will always face threats and attacks. Self-defense is the main task of the people of this country and society. Self-defense is the most legitimate right of all peoples.”