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The Case of Jordan

Jordan as a transit-country

The Middle East has also had a long history of forced migration, either as emigration from the region or transit migration from other parts of Asia or Africa. The Arab Spring escalated the degree of violence and made the forms and actors of organized violence more apparent. The consequences of war in Syria spread over the neighboring countries and influenced the region's politics and socio-economic structures. The main impact of the Syrian war in the area is the constitution of new migration hubs in the neighboring countries (especially in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon), and new organized violent groups on the desired destination route (mainly in Europe). Alongside the conflicts in the Middle East, contemporary politics in the region have posed potential of massive migration flows towards the migration corridor of MENA countries and European countries. As being a crucial hub, Jordan was the second largest country hosting forced migrants per capita in 2019 (seehttps://humanitariancompendium.iom.int/appeals/jordan-2019; and for general overviews https://crisisresponse.iom.int/.).The country has had a long history to provide refuge to various groups of forced migrants for centuries. It hosted Armenian forced migrants at the beginning of the 20th century and provide protection to Palestinians, Iraqis, and Syrians at the latter stage of the 20th century (Jauhiainen/ Vorobeva, 2018:17).. It is estimated that nearly 2 million Palestinian forced migrants arrived to Jordan due to the Arab-Israel wars. Based on UNHCR, 670,364 Syrians are staying in Jordan in 2021. Only the registered Syrian population consists of 6.5% of Jordan`s overall population. In 2015, 31% of Jordan’s population were citizens of other countries (De Bel-Air, 2016). The majority of Syrians in Jordan is at labor work age and 80% of them are living out of camps. Amman, Mafraq and Irbid Governates are the main areas host 75% of Syrian population. Jordan is a country of 11.1 million people with a GDP per capita of $4,100 and an unemployment rate of 20%. It is a country that has opened its borders to forced migrant populations while trying to achieve economic stability, and as in any country hosting a forced migrant population, the conditions created by its structural problems are reflected in the conditions of the forced migrants. These conditions have become more visible, especially with the recent large influx of Syrian refugees.During the war in Syria, Jordan immediately responded to the need of security of Syrians (Hudson, 2019), after a while Jordan implemented more restricted policies like limiting the entrance of some groups of Syrians (Chatty, 2017). At mid of the 2010s, Syrians could find jobs due to their professional and language skills (Hudson, 2019), but over time Syrians in Jordan had fear related to their working conditions at informal sectors (Chatty, 2017). In 2016, with the EU's aid packages promising to turn the influx of Syrian refugees into an opportunity for development (De Bel-Air, 2016), it has seemed that the migration dynamics in the country have been externalized by the developed world countries, as in other transit countries. The efforts to externalize the borders from Global North and socio-political conditions of Jordan determine the migration dynamics of the country today as they did in the past.