K4D Helpdesk Report 20

Syrian refugee onward migration from Jordan to Europe

Published on 14 December 2016

There has been a massive influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan since the Syrian conflict began: the official figure is over 650,000 but the actual number is likely to be much higher. Only 21.5 per cent of registered Syrian refugees are living in camps; 78.5 per cent are in urban areas. Life in Jordan has become increasingly difficult for Syrian refugees in urban host communities: savings and opportunities for subsistence have disappeared, alongside reductions in assistance.

Difficult conditions in Jordan, the prevailing sense of the protracted nature of the conflict in Syria, and the belief in greater opportunities and better treatment in Europe are causing many Syrians to consider the onward journey to Europe.  Despite the dangerous journey and new restrictive EU member state policies, 20 per cent of Syrian refugees who aimed to leave said they would try to make it to Europe. Within the population of Syrians on the move, there are distinct groups and categories, with varying experiences, motivations and concerns regarding onward movement to Europe. 

This helpdesk report discusses the main drivers of Syrian refugee onward movement from Jordan to Europe.

Cite this publication

Haider, H. (2016). Syrian refugee onward migration from Jordan to Europe. K4D Helpdesk Research Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

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published by
Institute of Development Studies
Haider, Huma


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