Exchange of experiences on the topic of “International legal foundations of asylum law and international best practice models”

Graphics: IRZ
Graphics: IRZ

Jordan hosts more than 750,000 refugees, 80 per cent of whom live outside refugee camps in urban areas. The capital city, Amman, alone is currently home to more than 270,000 refugees. After Lebanon, Jordan has a higher percentage of refugees than any other country in the world, with one in three people living in Jordan a refugee. It is not just the strain on the economy that poses a challenge for the state in dealing with refugees; access to justice for vulnerable groups is also difficult in Jordan. In order to counteract this, numerous civil society organisations are getting involved, offering legal counselling for refugees in order to support them.

In this context, IRZ together with the three Jordanian non-governmental organisations Justice Center for legal aid, Mizan and ARDD organised a first online exchange of experiences on the topic of “International legal foundations of asylum law and international best practice models”, which took place on 1 July 2021. The aim of the event was to identify any shortcomings in dealing with refugees and to share expertise from German practice with the organisations. Another subject of discussion was how representatives from civil society can improve the situation of refugees and offer them support.

Birgit Naujoks, Managing Director of the Refugee Council NRW, and lawyer Jochen Beekes participated in the event on behalf of IRZ. Once Jochen Beekes had presented the developments and resulting shortcomings in German asylum law, Birgit Naujoks explicitly addressed the role of representatives from civil society in migration issues. On the Jordanian side, Hadeel Abdel Aziz (Legal Center) and Suzan Mohareb (ARDD) reported on the work of their organisations and the situation of refugees in Jordan. Following on from the introductions by the experts, the discussions focused on the following topics:

  • Implementation of international conventions in national law: Geneva Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights
  • Asylum law and its practice in Germany: Priorities and reforms since 2015
  • The role of civil society in asylum and migration issues in Germany: Refugee councils in Germany as examples of best practice

The lively discussions and exchanges between the experts and participants reflected the particular relevance of the topic. It also became clear that dealing with refugees poses similar challenges for Jordan and Germany. Creating meaningful and humane foundations for the future is a goal that both countries hope to achieve.

In order to further promote exchange and to help to resolve migration issues in the legal field, IRZ aims to deepen cooperation in this area with representatives from civil society in Jordan.

The event was financed by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).