(Amman, August 16, 2016) – Jordan should address policies that restrict Syrian refugee children’s access to school to meet ambitious goals of increased enrollment when the 2016-2017 school year begins in September, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More than one-third of school-aged Syrian children registered with the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan – over 80,000 out of 226,000 children – were not in formal education during the last school year.
The 97-page report, “‘We’re Afraid For Their Future’: Barriers to Education for Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan,” describes Jordan’s generous efforts to enroll Syrian children in its public school system, which was struggling with capacity and quality issues even before refugees began to arrive from Syria. But Human Rights Watch also documented barriers to education, including asylum seeker registration requirements that many Syrians cannot meet; punishments for refugees working without permits that contribute to poverty, child labor, and school dropouts; and a bar on enrollment for children who have been out of school for three or more years. Jordan has eased some restrictions, but authorities should expand efforts to realize the fundamental right to education for all Syrian children, Human Rights Watch said