VI. Surviving in Jordan

Because of Jordan’s “silent treatment,” most Iraqis in Jordan live a life at the margin of society, without proper legal status, unable to work legally, and unable to access subsidized social services such as education, health care, and housing. Jordan argues it does not have the resources or the obligation to provide subsidized social services and work opportunities to Iraqi refugees. However, the Jordanian authorities’ refusal to formally recognize the extent of the Iraqi refugee flow into Jordan and to ask the international community for assistance with the burden also ensures that international resources are not made available to Jordan.  

Visas and Residence Permits

Iraqis only need a valid passport to enter Jordan.123 Immigration officials at ports of entry have discretion to decide the duration of stay based on the purpose of the visit.124 They have normally issued one-month visas to Iraqis at the border (although, as shown in this report, currently they frequently deny Iraqis such visas and turn them back at the border). Inside Jordan, the Department of Residency in the Ministry of Interior may extend visas for three months, upon request.125 Iraqis can also renew their one- or three-month visas by briefly leaving and re-entering Jordan—most commonly across the Syrian border, but also to Iraq. Saudi Arabia and Israel, Jordan’s other neighboring countries, require Iraqis to obtain pre-approved visas at their consulates or embassies, and rarely issue them.

After the hotel bombings, visa practices changed, and Jordanian border officials began issuing Iraqis only two- or three-day visas at the Syrian border, and rejecting more Iraqis at the Iraqi border.126 The visa-renewal route of crossing into Syria and back, while not entirely closed, made most Iraqis almost immediate overstayers shortly after re-entering Jordan. An Iraqi woman with a UNHCR asylum-seeker card explained why she is now residing illegally in Jordan: “I used to go every three months to the Syrian border to renew my visa. It cost 20 JD to go. In October 2005, I stopped going after they only gave me a 48-hour visa. I asked why, but they refused to explain.”127

Less frequently, the Jordanian Ministry of Interior issues one-year residence permits upon the recommendation of the Director of Public Security, which it may, then, renew annually.128 There are various ways to qualify for residence permits. One way is to establish proof of a secure and legal source of income. An Iraqi from Baghdad told Human Rights Watch that an applicant must deposit the equivalent of US$75,000 in a Jordanian bank account, which remains frozen, and a further US$75,000 in a current account.129 Another way to obtain residence permits is through work permits based on an employment contract certified by the Ministry of Labor (as not being in competition with the Jordanian labor market). Jobs open to non-Jordanians officially include scientific or vocational skills for which Jordan has no equivalent, but which, in practice, also include unskilled jobs that no Jordanians are willing to take. One-year residence permits are also available for students admitted to educational institutions or disabled persons or minor children whose only provider legally resides in Jordan.130

Despite this new policy of shortening the validity of visas for Iraqis that forces them almost immediately into illegality, Jordan has not enforced immigration laws against overstayers in a consistent manner. Yet, none of the Iraqis Human Rights Watch interviewed complained of police irregularities, and many Iraqis even praised the police as treating them humanely and without discrimination even though they are working and residing illegally.

Nonetheless, living illegally is taking a heavy toll on Iraqis living in Jordan. Many de facto refugees interviewed by Human Rights Watch are traumatized by their experiences, sometimes weeping as they retold their ordeals. Their suffering in Iraq often formed only one part of their traumatic experience. Many de facto refugees told of the added burden of being forced to live illegally and in poverty in Jordan. A disabled, elderly woman said:

I live illegally. I owe 750 JD to the government [in fines for overstaying my visa]. It makes me sick inside myself. Thank God for Jordan. They opened their door for Iraqis. But this is not my country. I miss Baghdad. I love Iraq. I’m in a big jail. We all want to live legally. We want temporary residency. We will go back to Iraq. We were middle class people, but now we are poor. There are thousands poor like me. We can’t pay the thousands to renew our residency.131


Amongst the Iraqi population are those who have the financial means to leave Iraq and escape the life-threatening insecurity. Indeed, many Jordanians view Iraqis in Jordan as rich people who drive expensive cars and live in luxurious West Amman apartments, driving up housing prices for everyone else. Economic analysts have attributed a boom in the Jordanian economy to the influx of Iraqi capital since the beginning of the war. Iraqi investments have helped spur economic growth in Jordan for the first half of 2006 to nearly 8 percent, double the growth rate prior to the war.132 The Jordan Times reported estimates in March 2005 that the arrival of 50,000 Iraqi families had pumped $2 billion into the Jordanian economy, which “clearly contributed to accelerating the cycle of the economy.”133 While there are certainly conspicuously wealthy Iraqis who have invested heavily in the Jordanian economy, most Iraqis live in the margins eking out a living, but with neither employment authorization nor savings.134

An NGO social service provider with the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), an agency funded specifically to identify and serve “extremely vulnerable individuals” among Iraqis living in Jordan, observed, “In the first year of our program, 2003, Iraqis came here with far greater resources. Many only approached us if they were in need of expensive medical operations. Last year, however, we started seeing people arriving from the border with almost nothing.”135 A handful of nongovernmental charitable organizations and churches assist the most needy and vulnerable among the Iraqis living in the country. The Jordanian government does not provide assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, and they are not eligible for the social services available to Jordanian citizens.136

Jordan’s official unemployment rate is 15.5 percent, according to the Jordanian Ministry of Labor’s 2005 annual report, a 2 percent increase over 2004.137 Although Iraqis are popularly perceived as taking jobs away from Jordanians, the Ministry of Labor’s report on unemployment for 2005, summarized in the Jordan Times, “criticize[d] Jordanians for refusing to take up jobs performed by foreign workers.”138 The Ministry cited the refusal of Jordanians to take menial jobs because of “low pay and a culture of shame, which is widespread among citizens.”139 Those are the jobs over-qualified Iraqis are now often filling.

Foreigners must lodge an application with the Ministry of Labor to apply for work authorization. This procedure is separate from applying for residency permits. The Ministry maintains a list of jobs open to foreigners. If a foreigner finds an employer and presents a contract, the Ministry will issue him or her a work permit. The Ministry of Labor issued 26,000 work permits to foreign workers in 2005.140 Most, 31.4 percent, were employed in the service sector, 27.2 percent in agriculture, 25.5 percent in industry, and 15.9 percent in construction.141 There are also tens of thousands of Syrians and Egyptians working in Jordan’s agricultural and construction sectors. The Ministry of Interior told Human Rights Watch that, once a foreigner has an offer for a qualifying job, it will issue him or her a one-year, renewable, residence permit. “It is not a big deal,” an MOI official told Human Rights Watch.142

It was, however, among the “biggest deals” for Iraqis in Jordan whom Human Rights Watch interviewed. Not having a work permit leaves all those who need to work vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers. Some Iraqis without residence or work permits were unwilling or too afraid to work illegally, instead depending on their dwindling savings and money relatives living abroad sent to support them. Although some interviewees said that employers did not exploit them for working illegally, others said they were being forced to work at positions for which they were over-qualified or underpaid. Some single women, particularly members of religious minorities, said that they encounter difficulties in the work place, including underpayment and sexual harassment. An unmarried Christian woman from Basra said:

Most of the places I work, because I am Iraqi and don’t have work permission, they wait until the end of the month, and then they fire me without pay. This happened to me four times…. Now I started working for a doctor for 70 JD a month, a very small salary…. I have to cover my head and he said I should convert to Islam, because he is religious. He insults me, saying I am ugly. I work from 9 AM to 9 PM, sometimes more. Another Jordanian girl works there also. She only works short hours and gets 200 JD. I asked the doctor why he pays me less, and he said he likes her more and she is Jordanian.143

Some Iraqi men also face discrimination. A Shi`a woman from Najaf said:

My husband has a college degree in agriculture, but he worked in construction illegally. He did day labor. It was very difficult because the income was irregular. Oftentimes, after the work was finished, they just told him to go and [did] not pay him, since he can’t go to the police.144

Jordanian authorities have since deported him after detaining him for working without a permit.

An Iraqi neurologist from Tal `Afar, who escaped to Jordan in July 2005 after his name was put on a death list, initially received only a three-day visa. He found various clinic jobs and managed to upgrade his visa to one month, then two months, and finally obtained a one-year residence permit. He now works at the Karak public hospital where he works as a specialist, but at the salary of a junior doctor. “Jordan is a quiet country, and things are easy for us,” he told Human Rights Watch, “but they exploit us. If I could, I would return back to Iraq because I have 14 years seniority there as a doctor. But every day, my colleagues call me to say it is not safe to return to Tal `Afar.”145 Two young Iraqi doctors told Human Rights Watch that newly qualified Iraqi doctors have even greater obstacles to employment in Jordan; they said that Jordanian hospitals require them to pay for internships, during which time they receive no salary.146

A Shi`a artist and interior designer from Baghdad’s al-Yarmuk neighborhood, who has refugee status with UNHCR but no residency permit in Jordan, and who has been waiting for years to be resettled abroad, said:

I work individually, not for a firm. I get exploited because if I were a Jordanian I could charge much more for my work. As a refugee, I often do not get paid or just receive a token amount. I don’t care so much about the money. I just want to be resettled elsewhere because my situation here is bad. I am not in charge of my own life.147

While many complain of being underpaid, others, especially those without permission to work, have difficulty finding jobs at all or are too afraid to work illegally. A Mandaean artisan from Baghdad who had been severely persecuted before fleeing the country told Human Rights Watch, “I’m not working here in Jordan. I am not doing anything. We have some offers for work, but I am afraid of the police. The work is illegal; I am afraid they will catch me, and then I will be forced to return to Iraq.”148 A mechanical engineer who fled Iraq after being accused of collaborating with the Americans said:

I don’t have a job in Jordan. I have tried to find a job, but it is always, “Iraqi? No Job!” Of course, I need a work permit to work legally in Jordan, but they don’t give work permits, especially in my field of mechanical engineering. There are Iraqis who work illegally, but in simple jobs, such as painting and construction. I know one Iraqi who worked here for 14 years in illegal jobs. If the police catch you, they deport you. I know people this has happened to. They get a permanent rejection in their passport. I know people whom this happened to, even if they had a UNHCR card.149

Those who work illegally live in constant fear of discovery and deportation. The barber from Sadr City, Baghdad, cited above, said, “Our greatest problem is that we are not allowed to work. How can I live without work? I work [illegally] in this barber shop. The police raids make me afraid, because the UNHCR paper doesn’t protect me.”150

While Jordan as a sovereign state has a right to regulate employment laws and access to employment, for example by a system of work visas, Jordan’s human rights obligations require that no one arbitrarily be excluded from the right to earn a living and in particular that long-term residents of Jordan enjoy the right to earn a living.

Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which Jordan has ratified without reservations, recognizes the right to work, “which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts.” 151 Article 7 guarantees equal pay for equal work– “fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind.”152 These rights are guaranteed to “everyone” without regard to citizenship or residence status.

Article 2.2 of the ICESCR states that parties to the Covenant must guarantee that rights holders can exercise their rights “without discrimination of any kind as to race, color, sex, language, religion, policy or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”153

Jordan is also a party to the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).154 In 2004, the CERD Committee, responsible for overseeing states’ implementation of their treaty obligations to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, issued a recommendation relating to discrimination against non-citizens. The Committee acknowledged states’ scope to differentiate between citizens and non-citizens, for example in the right to participate in and stand for elections, but said that human rights are, in principle, to be enjoyed by all persons. States parties are obliged to guarantee equality between citizens and non-citizens in the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, and social rights to the extent recognized under international law.155 States were specifically called on to remove obstacles that prevent the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights by non-citizens, notably in the areas of education, housing, employment, and health156and to take measures to eliminate discrimination against non-citizens in relation to working conditions and requirements.157


Although the Jordanian government does not bar Iraqi children without residency permits from going to school outright, its deliberate policy of misstatements and mixed signals has left Iraqis without residency permits confused and apprehensive about their children’s rights. This has deterred them from enrolling their children in school.

In interviews with Human Rights Watch, Iraqi nationals in Jordan consistently identified lack of access to education as a major problem facing their children. One woman described the low level of school attendance among Iraqi children in her apartment building as follows: “The building where I live is full of Iraqi people and all their children are staying home. Nobody goes to school.”158

The Assyrian woman who testified, above, about the arrest of her son and the family’s deportation to Syria, said that in 11 years in Jordan her older children had never gone to school. “The government school would not accept them because we did not have residency permits,” she said. “The youngest one went to the ‘service’ in the informal school [see below]. The older girls cannot write or read; they didn’t go to school at all. My son went to primary school in Iraq, but never went to school here.”159

The Ministry of Interior announced in August 2005 that it would prohibit Iraqi children without permanent residence permits from enrolling in public or private school for the 2005-06 school year.160 The announcement caused widespread anxiety among the Iraqi community illegally residing in Jordan. That announcement applied to Arabs without permanent residence, but then carved out exceptions for Gazans, Syrians, Egyptians, and Yemenis. In effect, that decision seemed intended to keep only Iraqis out of Jordanian schools. Under pressure from national and international children’s rights groups, the government rescinded its decision shortly after announcing it.161 By that time, however, the damage had been done and many Iraqi parents kept their children out of school. One observer commented, “The laws governing the right of nonresidents to attend public schools have been swinging back and forth like a pendulum.”162

Prior to the 2006-07 school year, the Jordanian government again sent mixed messages regarding the right of Iraqi children to attend public or private schools. Initially, the Ministry of Education announced that it would not allow foreign children to attend public schools and that it would allow only those who possess residence permits to attend private schools, with flexibility for exceptional cases.163 On April 20, 2006, however, the Ministry said that it would soon reverse its decision and allow Arab children with residence permits to attend public school.164 Subsequently, UNICEF-Amman informed Human Rights Watch:

The Jordanian government has issued guidelines not to allow any foreigner who doesn’t have a residency permit to enroll in public schools. Furthermore, starting next scholastic year, foreigners who have valid residency permits will be charged fees for enrolling in public schools.165 

In a meeting with Human Rights Watch, Ministry of Interior officials were unable or unwilling to specify the government’s policy for the 2006-07 school year.166 The officials intimated that the government would be flexible in handling applications by families without residency permits for permission to attend school in exceptional cases, explaining that individual Iraqi families could approach the MOI for an exemption if schools excluded their children. At the same time, the officials said that the 60,000 Iraqi students who attended public schools last year were a cause for severe overcrowding—50 students in a classroom—and an unacceptable strain on resources.167  The number of Iraqi students cited by the Ministry of Interior probably refers predominantly to Iraqis who do have residency permits. There are no available estimates for the number of Iraqi children without residency permits who may not be attending school at all.

At the time of the Human Rights Watch visit, parents, school administrators, government, NGO, and UN officials gave conflicting views about what they thought the government’s education policy would be for the 2006-07 academic year. Even the views of experts regarding the government’s policy on foreign children in school appeared to reflect what they had read or heard in local media reports. Many speculated that the Jordanian government would not allow Iraqi children without permanent residence permits to attend government schools and that they would also put private schools under increased scrutiny. One Iraqi woman, a mother of three children, told Human Rights Watch that she received a notice from the Ministry of Education saying that she will not be able to enroll her children in private school during the 2006-07 school year, and she also received a phone call from the director of her children’s school, confirming that it will not enroll her children.168

A few days before the 2006-07 school year began, the Jordanian press reported on a conversation between Jordan’s prime minister, Marouf Bakhit, and a visiting Iraqi dignitary, in which the prime minister said that Jordan was taking measures to facilitate residency permit procedures for Iraqis.169 This, he suggested, would enable their children to attend school. But the prime minister’s remarks were too late, too vague, and too poorly publicized to inform Iraqi parents about the steps they might take to allow their children to go to school.

The ambiguity of the government’s position with regard to education for Iraqi children has created great uncertainty and anxiety among Iraqi nationals living in Jordan. School administrators and teachers of a private school for Iraqis—which calls itself a “service” and not a “school” because the government does not recognize it as such—struggled to explain the government’s policy. “Six or eight months ago, the government said that Iraqis would not be allowed to go to public school without a resident permit,” said the school administrator. “Then they said Iraqis could stay in school just this year, but that next year no foreigners would be allowed in any schools, public or private. Then, they switched the policy a week before the school year started. The parents were angry. Then last month, they made a big announcement that no one without permanent residency will be able to attend public or private school.” He commented, “Sometimes they change their mind. I think they want to make life harder here.”170 The small school, which functions in a converted storefront, teaches 350 children who study in two different shifts. The school’s teachers are mostly volunteer Iraqi parents. It is not authorized to offer its graduates a certificate or a diploma recognized in Jordan, despite following the Jordanian curriculum.

The school administrator explained why Iraqi children would go to his badly under-resourced school that cannot provide a degree despite still having the option of attending public schools. He said that the Iraqi children feel safe in his school, particularly Christian and Mandaean children. He said that Iraqis prefer to send their children to private schools, but those who cannot afford to pay tuition come to his school, which is free. He also suggested that many Iraqis do not know that they can send their children to public school because of confusing government policy. 171

The Shi`a parent of a child in a private school told Human Rights Watch, “One day, the principal threw the Iraqi children out of the public school. My daughter refused to go back because she felt too humiliated, so we were forced to pay for a private school. Caritas pays half the fee. School is a psychological benefit for the children. It is the only place they can breathe fresh air. Psychologically, they can’t wait for the next day to go to school. On vacation days, I see them getting more anxious.” He said that the government’s announcement that children would not be allowed to go to school next year has had a devastating impact on his daughter. “She wanted to be a scientist, a doctor, but now they have cut her wings.”172 Another Shi`a parent explained that Jordanian schoolmates regularly teased her children. “My children also suffer because other children say they are Shi`a, hence unbelievers (kafir), and that ‘You cooperate with America, so you deserve what you are facing.’”173

Article 22 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Jordan ratified on May 24, 1991, provides that states parties “take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee…shall…receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of the applicable rights set forth in the present Convention.”174 Among the rights enumerated in the CRC is the right of a child to education, including compulsory primary education “available free to all.”175 As a party to CERD, Jordan must also “ensure that public educational institutions are open to non-citizens and children of undocumented immigrants” in Jordan.176 Jordan is obliged by its international commitments to ensure all Iraqi children have access to free primary education in Jordan, regardless of their status.

Health Care

Many Jordanian citizens, including government employees and military veterans, are enrolled in a national health insurance program not open to foreigners, who must rely on private insurance to cover healthcare costs.177 Such insurance is expensive and frequently excludes costly treatments and surgical procedures. Royal decrees often help Jordanian citizens faced with catastrophic health problems requiring expensive care, but such decrees are rarely available for foreigners.178

The high cost of health insurance means that Iraqis operate on a pay-as-you-go basis for most health care. “If I get sick, I have to go to the private clinic,” said an Iraqi Shi`a man in Karak. “I have had to go many times. If I go to the public clinic, I also have to pay, because I don’t have any insurance.”179

Jordan’s public healthcare system is state-subsidized, including government hospitals and clinics and regulated health-related fees and prices, which benefits everyone without insurance—citizen or foreigner—equally. But the subsidized governmental healthcare system is overburdened and provides only basic care. Because they lack insurance, many Iraqis are not able to cover even the state-regulated fees. An Iraqi woman told Human Rights Watch, “I can’t afford the expenses of medical care, so I just let nature take its course. Several times, I had low blood pressure problems. My neighbors sent me to the hospital because I was very sick, but I couldn’t pay for hospitalization, so I checked myself out.”180

A few private, church-based health clinics cater to Iraqi nationals. The pastor running one such clinic told Human Rights Watch, “We get very little financial support from the local community, and the government does nothing at all.”181 His clinic is primarily funded by donations from abroad. An International Catholic Migration Committee (ICMC) service provider said, “Medical costs are the biggest problem we face. Health care is extremely expensive here.”182

A former contractor for U.S. forces in Iraq who had to flee with his family after insurgent groups threatened him explained to Human Rights Watch that the health costs his family faces in Jordan are his biggest expense. When his wife had to give birth, they had to provide the hospital with a US$500 deposit before it admitted her, and ultimately had to pay US$1,000 for the birth. “They asked us for our insurance card, and we said we didn’t have one, and they said we had to pay cash.” Two months later, an urgent operation on the newborn cost another US$1,000. With no insurance, no job, and hence no income in Jordan, such costs quickly became unaffordable.183

Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) calls on all states parties to achieve the full realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.184 The UN general comments on the implementation of Article 12 say that access to health facilities and the payment for health goods and services must be “based on the principle of equity” and available “without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds,” noting that this applies “especially to the most vulnerable or marginalized sections of the population, in law and in fact.”185 Parties to CERD must also respect the right of non-citizens to an adequate standard of physical and mental health.186 Jordan is a party to both ICESCR and CERD.

Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Jordan is also a party, recognizes the right of all children to access health care services. Article 39 calls for appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social integration for child victims of armed conflicts and torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.187

Human Rights Watch does not suggest that Jordan is not in compliance with ICESCR, CERD or the CRC with respect to health care for Iraqi nationals living in Jordan, but notes that these instruments refer to progressive realization of health needs. We encourage the Jordanian authorities to support and facilitate the activities of private charities that provide supplementary health care for Iraqis in Jordan and to use royal decrees to help Iraqi nationals faced with severe health problems.


There is no evidence of homelessness among Iraqis in Jordan despite their large-scale and concentrated influx and the fact that many are struggling to make ends meet because they are not allowed to work. Iraqis in Jordan are urban refugees and do not live in collective centers or refugee camps.

Iraq’s middle class—people engaged in commerce, professionals, and others who had sufficient resources to leave the country—form the bulk of Iraqis in Jordan.188 An NGO service provider working with a client population of extremely vulnerable individuals said, “Iraqis are moving to worse and worse housing. They will move from house to house, but they would not live in a collective center or become homeless. There is tremendous solidarity, even among Jordanian neighbors, and everyone finds something.”189

Better-off Iraqis find apartments to rent or buy.190 Jordanians complain that housing prices in Amman have skyrocketed because of the influx of Iraqis, some of whom are able to pay the higher housing prices.191 But many Iraqis are struggling to meet the high rent payments. A nearly blind Iraqi woman living on her own in Amman who has overstayed her residence permit and does not have the right to work said, “They make the rent prices higher and higher for Iraqis. They use us to make the prices higher than they deserve.”192 A watchmaker from the Adamiya neighborhood of Baghdad, now living in Amman, said, “I’m living in an apartment that costs 140 JD per month. It is more than a Jordanian would pay, of course. My Jordanian friends say the price should be 70 JD per month.”193

The government’s laissez-faire attitude with regard to housing, education, health, and even employment is particularly difficult for the disabled and other vulnerable groups. But some Iraqis living illegally in Jordan manage pretty well under these circumstances, and credit Jordanian officials for looking the other way. The Shi`a man from Missan Governorate (quoted above) whose wife and children are in Iraq and cannot join him, and who has been living illegally in Jordan since 1998 and could be deported at any time, praised both the police and the Jordanians he deals with on a daily basis:

I work for some shop. The owner pays me the same salary as a Jordanian. I have a private apartment, and I pay the same rent as a Jordanian. The police know who I am, but probably the higher authorities tell them not to interfere. Sometimes they regard us as guests and deal with us in a humanitarian way.194

123 Website of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available at: (accessed July 31, 2006).

124 Email from IOM-Amman to Human Rights Watch, July 15, 2006.

125 Email from UNHCR-Amman to Human Rights Watch, February 6, 2006.

126 Jackie Spinner, “Iraqis Find Travel to Jordan Increasingly Frustrating,” Washington Post, January 17, 2006.

127 Human Rights Watch interview (P-13) Amman, April 26, 2006.

128 Email from IOM-Amman to Human Rights Watch, July 15, 2006. Foreigners living legally in Jordan for ten years may receive five-year renewable residency permits.

129 Human Rights Watch interview (C-35), Amman, April 23, 2006.

130 Residence and Foreigners’ Affairs Law, art. 26.

131 Human Rights Watch interview (B-3), Amman, April 27, 2006.

132 Jay Solomon, “Bombings in Jordan Stress War’s Impact—Influx of Iraqis and Wealth Bring Growth and Tension,” The Wall Street Journal Asia, November 11, 2005.

133 “Iraqis Pump $2 Billion into the Jordanian Banks,” Jordan Times, March 14, 2005.

134 Ingrid McDonald, “The War Next Door,” American Scholar, April 1, 2006. Also, Human Rights Watch interview (C-3), Amman, April 24, 2006.

135 Human Rights Watch interview with Susan Paklar, ICMC, Amman, April 26, 2006.

136 Email from UNHCR to Human Rights Watch, February 7, 2006.

137 “Jobless Total Rises to 15.5 Percent,” Jordan Times, May 19-20, 2006.

138 Ibid.

139 Ibid.

140 Ibid.

141 Ibid..

142 Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhaimar F. Abu Jamous, Secretary-General, Ministry of Interior, and staff, Amman, May 4, 2006.

143 Human Rights Watch interview (P-13), Amman, April 26, 2006.

144 Human Rights Watch interview (P-14), Amman, April 27, 2006.

145 Human Rights Watch interview (P-6), Karak, April 23, 2006.

146 Human Rights Watch interviews (P-33), Amman, April 22, 2006.

147 Human Rights Watch interview (P-15), Amman, April 27, 2006.

148 Human Rights Watch interview (P-16), Amman, April 27, 2006.

149 Human Rights Watch interview (P-3), Amman, April 22, 2006.

150 Human Rights Watch interview (P-12), Amman, April 25, 2006.

151 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 49, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 993 U.N.T.S. 3, entered into force January 3, 1976, ratified by Jordan on May 28, 1975, art. 6.

152 Ibid. art. 7.

153 Ibid. art. 2.2.

154 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), adopted December 21, 1965, G.A. Res. 2106 (XX), annex, 20 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 14) at 47, U.N. Doc. A/6014 (1966), 660 U.N.T.S. 195, entered into force January 4, 1969, acceded to by Jordan on May 30, 1974.

155 Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), General Recommendation No. 30, Discrimination Against Non-Citizens, October 1, 2004, para.3. Available at (accessed October 17, 2006).

156 Ibid. para. 29.

157Ibid. para. 33.

158 Human Rights Watch interview (C-38), Amman, April 20, 2006.

159 Human Rights Watch interview (B-6), Amman, April 27, 2006.

160 Letter from UNICEF, UNHCR and UNESCO representatives in Jordan to the Minister of Interior, June 19, 2005 (on file with Human Rights Watch).

161 Ibid. See also Human Rights Watch interview with Eva Abu Halawah, executive director of MIZAN, Law Group for Human Rights, Amman, May 4, 2006, and email from UNICEF-Amman to Human Rights Watch, July 17, 2006.

162 Ingrid McDonald, “The War Next Door,” American Scholar, Vol. 72, No. 2, April 1, 2006.

163 Mohammad Ghazal, “New Regulations Restrict Access to Public Schools,” Jordan Times, March 22, 2006.

164 Mohammad Ghazal, “Ministry to Revoke Ban of Foreign Student Enrolment,” Jordan Times, April 20, 2006.

165 Email from UNICEF-Amman to Human Rights Watch, July 17, 2006. UNICEF-Amman said that some school principals unofficially allow Iraqi children to attend their public schools.

166 Various sources interviewed in Amman informed Human Rights Watch that the Ministry of Interior rather than the Ministry of Education sets the policy regarding foreign children in Jordanian schools.

167 Human Rights Watch interview with Mukhaimar F. Abu Jamous, Secretary-General, Ministry of Interior, and staff, Amman, May 4, 2006.

168 Human Rights Watch interview (C-35), Amman, April 23, 2006.

169 “Gov’t Takes Measures to Facilitate Entrance of Iraqi Children into Schools—Bakhit,” Jordan Times, August 18-19, 2006.

170 Human Rights Watch interview (B-2), Amman, April 26, 2006.

171 Ibid.

172 Human Rights Watch interview (B-7), Amman, April 27, 2006.

173 Human Rights Watch interview (P-14), Amman, April 27, 2006.

174 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted November 20, 1989, G.A. Res. 44/25, annex, 44 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 167, U.N. Doc. A/44/49 (1989), entered into force September 2, 1990, art. 22.

175 Ibid. art. 28 (See also, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment on Education, No. 13: The Right to Education, U.N. Doc. E/C.12/1999/10, December 8, 1999. Para. 34 states “The Committee takes note of article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 3 (e) of the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education and confirms that the principle of non-discrimination extends to all persons of school age residing in the territory of a State party, including non-nationals, and irrespective of their legal status.” Para. 6 lays out accessibility, availability, and acceptability as the three “interrelated and essential features” of all forms and levels of education, and in defining the characteristics of availability states that “education must be accessible to all, especially the most vulnerable groups, in law and fact, without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds.”).

176 CERD, General Recommendation No. 30, para. 30.

177 Human Rights Watch interview with Lina Quora, executive director of Sisterhood is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI), Amman, April 24, 2006.

178 Ibid.

179 Human Rights Watch interview (P-5), Karak, April 23, 2006.

180 Human Rights Watch interview (P-13), Amman, April 25, 2006.

181 Human Rights Watch interview with Rev. Yousef Hashweh, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Amman, April 26, 2006.

182 Human Rights Watch interview with Susan Paklar, ICMC, Amman, April 26, 2006.

183 Human Rights Watch interview (P-3), Amman, April 22, 2006.

184 ICESCR, art. 12.

185 Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, “General Comment No. 14: The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health,” E/C.12/2000/4, August 11, 2000, (accessed October 18, 2006), para. 12.

186 CERD, General Recommendation No. 30, para. 36.

187 CRC, art. 24.

188 Sabrina Tavernise, “As Death Stalks Iraq, Middle Class Exodus Begins,” New York Times, May 19, 2006.

189 Human Rights Watch interview with Susan Paklar, ICMC, Amman, April 26, 2006.

190 Human Rights Watch interview with Lina Quora, SIGI, Amman, April 25, 2006.

191 Human Rights interview with a European diplomat, Amman, May 3, 2006, confirmed inflation in housing prices and rent.

192 Human Rights Watch interview (B-3), Amman, April 27, 2006.

193 Human Rights Watch interview (P-3), Amman, April 22, 2006.

194 Human Rights Watch interview (P-5), Karak, April 23, 2006.