Target: Salameh Hammad, Minister of Interior
Goal: Allow Syrian refugees into the country of Jordan.
Over 12,000 people fleeing the conflict in Syria have become stranded at the border of Syria and Jordan. These refugees are largely without food, water, and other necessary resources, and some have returned to dangerous conditions in Syria rather than remain stranded. Sign the petition and remind Jordan of its obligations to the international community and suffering refugees.
Conditions at the border of Syria and Jordan are harsh. The area is mainly desert and the winter temperatures can drop to freezing. There is a serious shortage of blankets, shelter, food, water, and other aid since Jordan has “restricted international organizations’ access to the area,” Amnesty International reports.
Many of those stranded at the border are at-risk populations such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with medical conditions. They need more resources and medical attention than they currently have access to.
Some of those waiting at the border have given up and returned to Syria, where they face violence and uncertainty. By refusing refugees, Jordan is in violation of international laws that prohibit refoulement, which is the practice of returning asylum-seekers to countries where their safety is at risk.
Under international law, Jordan has a responsibility to refugees. Sign the petition and urge the Jordanian government to allow Syrian refugees to cross the border where they can take advantage of international aid.
Dear Minister Hammad,
The crisis in Syria has put a terrible strain on many of its neighbors, including Jordan, which has had to pick up the slack after Turkey and Lebanon so disappointingly closed their borders. However, I am saddened to see the way that Jordan has responded to the influx of refugees attempting to cross into Jordan via the northeastern border crossing. I urge you to allow these refugees into the country where they can take advantage of international aid.
Conditions at the border crossing are harsh; the desert conditions are difficult to begin with, but the winter temperatures mean that those stranded at the border face freezing temperatures, often without adequate clothing or shelter. Food, water, and other resources are also in scarce supply since international aid agencies have had their access to the area restricted. Many of those affected are children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the ill.
Some refugees have been forced by these hardships to cross back into Syria, where their safety is at risk. These returns are the direct result of the Jordanian government’s lack of adequate response to the influx of refugees, making Jordan complicit in refoulement, the internationally-prohibited process of returning asylum-seekers to dangerous homelands.
I urge you to make this right. Allow Syrian refugees to cross the border into Jordan so that they have access to necessary resources.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Department of State