Human Rights

On account of the current crisis facing many of the countries involved in the SYL project, the Human Rights component of our training course was focused on the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

The training course aimed to deepen participants’ knowledge of human rights principles, allowing for a reflection on their own status within Europe and host countries, and their individual potential to engage with these issues in their societies. The course was carried out using a series of non-formal education methods, such as  presentations, video and photographic evidence, simulation practices, meetings and discussions with NGOs and refugees.


Since 1946, Jordan has given refuge to waves of migrants fleeing regional conflicts: Palestinians, Iraqis and now Syrians. Jordan is now home to more than 1.4 million Syrians, including over 600,000 refugees who have arrived since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011.

An estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011, taking refuge in neighbouring countries or within Syria itself. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria. Meanwhile, under 150,000 Syrians have declared asylum in the European Union, while member states have pledged to resettle a further 33,000 Syrians. The vast majority of these resettlement spots – 28,500 or 85% – are pledged by Germany.

Currently, registered Syrian Refugees stand at 636,040. (updated to 16 Mar 2016, from

Donors at a conference in London aimed at soliciting support for Syrian refugees pledged to contribute $2.1 billion and other assistance to Jordan over the next three years. Jordanian representatives made it clear that the provision of jobs for 200,000 Syrian refugees would be a necessary condition for the donation.


A general introduction


Although states have been granting protection to individuals and groups fleeing persecution for centuries, the modern refugee regime is largely a product of the second half of the twentieth century. Like international human rights law, modern refugee law has its origins in the aftermath of World War II and the refugee crises of the interwar years that preceded it. Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted in 1948 guarantees the human right to seek and enjoy asylum in other countries. Subsequent regional human rights initiatives have elaborated on this right, guaranteeing the “right to seek and be granted asylum in a foreign territory, in accordance with the legislation of the state and international conventions.” American Convention on Human Rights, art. 22(7); African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, art. 12(3).

The principal international convention on refugee law is the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention), accompanied by the 1967 Optional Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Optional Protocol). The 1951 Convention sets forth the definition of a refugee as well as the principle of nonrefoulement and the rights afforded to those granted refugee status. Although the 1951 Convention definition remains the dominant definition, regional human rights treaties have since modified the definition of a refugee in response to displacement crises not covered by the 1951 Convention.

The 1951 Convention does not define how State Parties are to determine whether an individual meets the definition of a refugee. Instead, the establishment of asylum proceedings and refugee status determinations are left to the interpretation and development of individual State Parties. This has resulted in disparities among different States as governments craft asylum laws based on their different resources, national security concerns, and histories with forced migration movements. Despite differences at the national and regional levels, the overarching goal of the modern refugee regime is to provide protection to individuals forced to flee their homes because their countries are unwilling or unable to protect them.


UN- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights…/universal-declaration-human-…/index.html

EU- European Court of Human Rights

UNHCR- 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

UNHCR- Cartagena Declaration on Refugees




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