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Shattered Lives: Challenges and Priorities for Syrian Children and Women in Jordan

Status: Published 1 May 2013 - 1 June 2013
Not funded
Sampling: Random
Sampling size: N/A
Target population: Population in Camp

Shattered Lives: Challenges and Priorities for Syrian Children and Women in Jordan

Status: Published 1 May 2013 - 1 June 2013
Not funded
Sampling: Random
Sampling size: N/A
Target population: Population in Camp
1. What are the key challenges in realizing the rights of Syrian girls, boys and women in Jordan? 2. What are the priority recommendations for action in the following programme sectors: (i) child protection and gender-based violence; (ii) education; (iii) water, sanitation and hygiene; (iv) nutrition and health; (v) mental health and psychosocial support; and (vi) adolescent development and participation?

Needs
CP&GBV: Address the practice of early marriage through a community-based approach, and empower women to take an active part in the prevention of GBV through community based initiatives on early marriage and domestive violence. Ensure that children engaged in the worst forms of child labour receive targeted assistance and support, along with their families. Improve the identification and outreach to the most vulnerable Syrian children and women not being reached by current programming. Education: Protect children from violence en route to and from school. Address aggressiveness in students by increasing the number of recreational activities offered, strengthening MHPSS services. Support MoE in their planning for increasing numbers of students in public schools in host communities. Support an increase of double-shifted schools and the installation of prefabricated classrooms while maintaining the quality of education. Advocate with the Ministry of Education to deploy supervisors and counselors to Za’atari camp schools as soon as possible. Enforce zero tolerance of violence at schools and train all school staff on positive discipline and non-violent classroom management. Develop a code of conduct for all school staff. WASH: Scale up hygiene promotion activities to reach all refugees in camps and continue outreach to refugees in host communities. Continue to work with communities and partners to improve solid waste management in Za’atari Camp to ensure a clean and safe environment for refugees. Mobilise the community in camps to ensure WASH facilities are well maintained through the establishment and support of local WASH committees. Increase awareness about the importance of water conservation and good hygiene with children and families in schools, child and adolescent friendly spaces and infant and young child feeding centres. Work with camp management to ensure sufficient lighting in strategic/insecure areas in camps, in particular around common areas such as WASH facilities and kitchens. Ensure access for children and adults with disabilities to WASH facilities or provide portable toilets. Nutrition and Health: Reach all mothers with children below the age of two with education about good infant and young child feeding practices, as well as fortified foods. Ensure all Syrian children have access to routine immunization in Jordan and support the national campaign against measles and polio. Support the introduction of the measles and polio vaccine at points of entry into Jordan. Assist the Ministry of Health in replenishing their stocks of vaccines. Create new health centres in Za’atari camp to ensure better access for all Syrian refugees and improve outreach to Syrians in host communities with information about available health services in Jordan. Adolescents: Conduct a needs assessment of the situation of adolescents, including peer led research by adolescents. Assist adolescents in forming their own youth committees to discuss their specific experiences, to communicate better with relevant actors in their communities and to advocate for change. In camp settings, assist youth committees in contributing to camp planning and management. Provide a wide range of well-coordinated social and extracurricular activities for adolescents, including sports, arts and cultural programmes and environmental activities. Provide ‘focused, non-specialised’ psychosocial support to adolescents including engaging adolescents in telling their stories and expressing their concerns with each other, as well as providing opportunities for adolescents to communicate with their friends and family in Syria.

Main Findings
With regards to CP and GBV, there has been Increased domestic violence, especially against adolescent girls, boys and women. Women and girls aged 12-18 are the most likely targets. There is a heightened fear of sexual harassment and sexual violence among girls and women, and concerns about unsafe spaces (inc. tents, showers, latrines) were voiced. 307 unaccompanied children and 323 separated children registered with UNHCR in Zaatari as of March 2013. Female-headed households (26%) and Syrians with disabilities (30%) were also felt to be excluded from services. Additional risks to Syrian girls and boys in Jordan that require closer scrutiny are early marriage, child labour, gang activity, and allegations of recruitment by armed groups. In terms of education, most Syrian girls and boys in Jordan do not go to school. Some 78% of children in Za’atari camp and 50% to 95% across host communities are out of school. The key reasons include lack of information about education services available, Syrians’ belief that they will return home soon, violence and harassment en route to and from school, domestic or work commitments for children, long distances to school, especially for girls,and transportation costs. For Syrian children who are in school, learning environments are compromised by students’ poor nutrition, crowded classrooms, inadequate school supplies, corporal punishment by teachers and principals, violence and harassment by students, discrimination in host community schools, and inexperienced teachers in Za’atari camp. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenges for Syrian children and women in Jordan are serious and growing. The critical problems are fears among refugees that drinking water is ‘unsafe’ and the cost of bottled water, tension between Syrians and Jordanians over public water supply systems, shortages in hygiene-related products such as soap, theft and vandalism of WASH facilities in Za’atari camp, dirty WASH facilities and degradation of facilities in overly congested areas in Za’atari camp, fear among women and children of using WASH facilities at night in Za’atari camp, risks to children’s health from the untreated wastewater of private washing and toilet facilities in Za’atari camp. There are several threats to the nutritional status and health of Syrian refugees in Jordan. The Global Acute Malnutrition in children under 5 years is rated as ‘poor’ by the World Health Organisation (5.8% in Za’atari camp and 5.1% in host communities),there are alarming rates of children at risk of acute malnutrition in Za’atari camp (5.6%), over 6% of women of reproductive age are malnourished, with approximately 1% severely malnourished, there are poor breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding practices among Syrians, there is a risk of serious health complications for Syrian children, including death, from the combination of infectious diseases and malnutrition, along with the risk of a measles or polio outbreak and the need for greater vaccination coverage of Syrians and Jordanians. Distance to health centres for Syrians living in newer areas of Za’atari camp and denial of access to health services for some unregistered refugees in host communities also pose a problem. Approximately 25% of the residents of Za’atari camp are adolescents and youth between 15–24 years of age. The numbers are similar in host communities. The key challenges for Syrian adolescents are the absence of adolescent-specific programming, especially vocational training, recreational, and cultural activities, a shortage of income generation opportunities, limited support for adolescent mothers, including a lack of family planning information, changing family relationships including increased domestic violence and authoritarian decision-making by parents, lack of volunteer opportunities, and exclusion from camp planning processes.

Sectors

  •  Health
  •  Water Sanitation Hygiene
  •  Protection
  •  Education
  •  Health and Nutrition

Locations

  • Jordan
  • Mafraq Governorate
  • Mafraq
  • Syrian Arab Republic

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