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Protection Civile et Operations d'Aide Humanitaire Européennes

Kamal, a father looking out for his family

Kamal and his family standing in front of their house
Kamal with his wife and children
© Shatha Abu Odeh/NRC.

After more than a decade of war and a severe economic crisis at home, few Syrian refugees in Jordan are keen to return to their country anytime soon.

When we think of humanitarian aid, civil documentation does not immediately come to mind. But it is crucial to ensure people who have had to flee conflict can exist, enjoy their rights and access essential services elsewhere.

Kamal struggled to register his children when he fled to Jordan. For refugee children, it is essential to have an ID card in order to access basic services.

With EU humanitarian funding, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) helps refugees like Kamal obtain needed documentation.

Kamal fled Syria with his pregnant wife in 2014. After a 2-day journey through scorching desert terrain, they arrived at the Jordanian border, with nothing in hand apart from Kamal’s Syrian ID.

Kamal and his family now live in Al-Hussein camp. His family has grown over the last 7 years and Kamal is now the proud father of 4 children.

With only his Syrian ID to prove his identity, Kamal struggled to register their births in Jordan. “It’s difficult for children to be deprived of even the simplest things at the beginning of their lives,” he says.

Undocumented children are not only invisible to the authorities, they are also unable to access essential public services like subsidised health care and schooling.

Birth registration gives children proof of legal identity and allows them to access such services. It protects a range of their human and civil rights, helping guard against exploitation and abuse.

For refugees in Jordan, birth registration is also essential to obtain a Ministry of Interior card. This is indispensable for them to reside legally in Jordan, facilitating freedom of movement and access to public services.

The process of registering a birth in Jordan involves producing a marriage certificate, which Kamal lacked.

Through EU humanitarian aid funding, NRC was able to support Kamal in securing a marriage ratification certificate and facilitate registering the birth of his children.

His family now has the necessary identity documents, which give them access to public services and guarantee their freedom of movement.