Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011 and the influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan, it was expected that vital civil incidents would occur in the refugee community, especially with the protracted crisis situation since 2011, and the most prominent of these incidents were birth and death. Making documenting these incidents essential, especially in light of the Jordanian laws, which obliges everyone who has been on Jordanian lands – when these incidents occurred on t – to register them with the Jordanian Civil Status Department and to issue official documents for these incidents via birth, deaths or marriage certificate to document that it took place on Jordanian territory, regardless of nationality.
Birth certificate is very important, as it is the first official document that a person has certifying the authenticity of one’s personal information and has a great influence on future legal considerations. This information includes the date and time of birth, the name of the newborn, their surname, the name of the mother and father, the gender of the newborn, and the place of the childbirth and nationality. Consequently, the failure to issue such certificate leads to the risk of statelessness, especially in cases of asylum families are more vulnerable to disintegration due to the unstable refugee situation and its psychological, social and economic implications, and the failure to document these incidents, may lead to children being at risk of statelessness, and documenting these incidents provides protection for them through certifying parenthood, age and nationality.
In light of documenting these incidents, especially the issue of birth certificates, official authorities, including the Ministry of the Interior, the Civil Status Department, the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate, the High Commissioner for Refugees, ARDD and other actors in this field have endeavored to spread awareness to motivate, help, and facilitate procedures of issuing these documents and ensuring their issuance and documentation for Syrian refugees present on Jordanian lands.
Since the start of the campaign in the beginning of 2017 until the end of 2018, ARDD worked at addressing cases related to a birth certificate for Syrian refugees after one year of age, through the procedures and legal assistance it provided, as indicated in the report. ARDD has worked on more than 3500 cases and Legal Aid Unit lawyers presented more than 9875 legal consultations related to issuing a birth certificate.
This legal paper addresses the statistics of birth registrations for Syrian Refugees in Jordan during 2017 and 2018, the importance of recording these cases, the legal dimensions, challenges and measures to address these challenges and ARDD’s role and recommendations in this regard.