Growing Restrictions, Tough Conditions: The Plight of Those Fleeing Syria To Jordan

October 30, 2013

Growing Restrictions, Tough Conditions: The Plight of Those Fleeing Syria To Jordan

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The content of this report relating to Jordan is largely based on a research visit to the country in June 2013. The Amnesty International delegation met with representatives of the Jordanian authorities, UN agencies, international humanitarian agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and charities, as well as more than 150 refugees from Syria in refugee camps and in host communities. Previous research missions to Jordan were carried out in February 2012 and July 2012. Amnesty International delegates have also carried out field research on issues related to refugees from Syria in other neighbouring countries: Lebanon in April 2011 and February 2013; Turkey in June 2011, February 2013 and April 2013; and Egypt in May 2013 and October 2013. The June 2013 visit to Jordan was followed up by further research and interviews conducted from London. Amnesty International sent memorandums containing its preliminary findings to both the Jordanian authorities and UNHCR in Jordan. UNHCR responded with a letter, aspects of which Amnesty International has reflected in this report, but no response had been received from the Jordanian authorities at the time of publication.

Amnesty International is publishing this report to draw attention to the difficulties faced by people from Syria as they flee their country in search of safety. While the report mainly focuses on the situation in Jordan, it also updates information the organization has previously published on the challenges facing refugees from Syria in other neighbouring countries and further afield. The organization is therefore calling upon the Jordanian authorities, as well as those of all other neighbouring countries, to keep their borders open to all persons fleeing the conflict in Syria, without discrimination, and ensure full access to their territories and to safety. Jordan and other neighbouring countries must also ensure that no persons fleeing Syria are forcibly removed to Syria, in any manner whatsoever, including through removal, rejection at the border, expulsion or deportation. These countries must also refrain from arbitrarily detaining refugees from Syria and ensure that no refugees are subjected to restrictions which violate their right to freedom of movement.

The organization is similarly calling upon the international community to do all it can to ensure that the affected neighbouring countries are adequately supported. Countries with the means to do so should provide urgent financial and technical support to assist them in providing protection to all those refugees from Syria who need it, and in particular to provide urgent and meaningful financial contribution to the UN Syria Regional Response Plan. Countries should also offer a generous number of emergency resettlement places, over and above annual resettlement quotas, to vulnerable refugees who have fled Syria and are currently in neighbouring countries. They should similarly recognize that anyone fleeing Syria should be considered in need of international protection and continue to suspend, in line with UNHCR recommendations, all returns to Syria and its neighbouring countries until the country's security and human rights situation has sufficiently improved to permit safe, dignified and sustainable return.