REPORT: DEPORTATIONS TO SYRIA
Estimates by the UN and other independent sources suggest that 2,000 to 3,000 refugees have been deported from Jordan to Syria in 2017 alone. The two main justifications of deportation measures to Syria appeared to be alleged national security threats, and lack of civil and legal documentation, particularly work permits.
However, legal provisions as the customary law principle of non-refoulement, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture and the Arab Charter of Human Rights prevent Jordan from expelling individuals to a place where they are at risk of persecution, torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Similarly to forcible relocations to camps, deportation measures do not appear to target any particular age group, gender, social or geographical category of Syrian refugees in Jordan; however, young and adult males appear to be more frequently the primary subjects of deportations.
In most cases assessed by INTERSOS, Syrian refugees perceived deportations to be carried out by the Jordanian authorities without transparency or due process. Few deportees have reported to their relatives being aware of the reason for such measures; none appeared to have received the assistance of a lawyer, to have been heard by a judge, to have been able to defend himself/herself from the allegations in any way or to have been allowed to communicate with his/her relatives or the UNHCR. However, no mistreatment by the police and/or public authorities was reported.
In none of the cases assessed by INTERSOS, deportees reported to their relatives in Jordan that they were able to return to their place of origin in Syria. Most of them appear to have settled in the southern governorate of Dara’a, even if not originally from that area. In several cases, deportation led to secondary displacement within Syria, and even to further asylum seeking in third countries such as Lebanon, Turkey or Greece.
Severe protection concerns have been detected as a direct and indirect consequence of deportations, ranging from psychological trauma to serious negative coping mechanisms such as child labour, early marriage and even death.