UNHCR: Conditions “not in place” for Syrians to return home

MENA

Published: 2017-10-17 18:59

Last Updated: 2017-10-17 19:30


NICEF Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan met Grade 9 Syrian girls at the Sai’ed Noureddin double shifted public school in Amman. (UNICEF)
NICEF Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan met Grade 9 Syrian girls at the Sai’ed Noureddin double shifted public school in Amman. (UNICEF)
Roya News Source

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has said that conditions in Syria are "not in place" for Syrians to return home, calling for more support for host countries.

Over the last year, a number of ceasefires have created a sense of relative calm to some parts of Syria, with a large numbers of Syrian refugees choosing to return home.

However, in an op-ed penned in the National, Grandi noted that the Syrian conflict is far from over and the suffering of civilians has actually increased.

“Much of the country is littered with mines and explosive hazards, waiting to maim or kill their next victim. In the first half of 2017 alone, 1.3 million Syrians were newly displaced, an average of 7,000 people per day forced to flee their homes,” Grandi said.

Within this dangerous context, Grandi emphasised it was not safe for many Syrians to return home. He went on to encourage the international community to provide more financial support host countries burdened under the refugee crisis.

Jordan is home to around 1.3 million Syrian refugees, according to Jordanian authorities, of whom more than 600,000 are registered with the UNHCR.

The kingdom recently came under fire after Human Rights Watch released a 27-page document that chronicled the deportation of 400 refugees during the first five months of 2017.

The report noted that some 300 registered refugees returned to Syria voluntarily during that time, and another 500 returned under "unclear" circumstances.

"Jordan shouldn't be sending people back to Syria without making sure they wouldn't face a real risk of torture or serious harm and unless they have had a fair opportunity to plead their case for protection," said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at HRW.