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Jordan: Report reveals challenges refugees living outside camps encounter obtaining official documents

Securing Status: Syrian refugees and the documentation of legal status, identity, and family relationships in Jordan, November 2016

Without access to formal channels of income and assistance, refugees without documentation may work illegally to support their families. To work legally in Jordan, refugees must have a work permit; in early 2016 the Government of Jordan committed to providing up to 200,000 work opportunities to Syrians over a three-year period and introduced measures to make it easier for Syrians to obtain work permits. However, only refugees with a new [Ministry of Interior] card (or a passport showing regular entry) are eligible to receive work permits...

A grandfather described his grandsons’ work […] As a result of working without a permit, the second grandson was detained by police and sent to Azraq. The family relied on the grandson to “help to wash and take care of [the disabled father],” so he left Azraq without authorisation. The grandfather said that while this grandson was “afraid to go out,” he sometimes still left the house to find work “for JOD 4 or 5 per job.” While many Syrian refugees work without formal work permits, the risks of illegal work are compounded for refugees who lack documentation; their invisibility to authorities puts them at increased risk of exploitation by employers who take advantage of undocumented refugees’ fears that they will come to the attention of authorities.

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