Amnesty International says Jordan must take immediate action to assist up to 12,000 refugees who have been denied entry to the country and are struggling to survive in desperate, freezing conditions in “no man’s land” on the Jordanian side of the border with Syria. Those stranded include pregnant women, young children, elderly people and people suffering from serious medical conditions.
Hundreds of refugees have been arriving on a daily basis in recent weeks but have been denied access to Jordan by the authorities. UNHCR announced on 8 Decemberthat the number of refugees on the border has risen sharply since the start of November, from 4,000 to 12,000 following the recent intensification of conflict in Syria.
Since 2011 Jordan has granted refuge to more than 632,000 Syrian refugees but its policy on allowing those fleeing the conflict has become increasingly restrictive.
Jordan is one of five countries in the region hosting 95% of refugees from Syria and is struggling to cope with the added strain of this influx. Lebanon and Turkey have also effectively closed their borders to Syria’s refugees.