Adnan’s birth certificate was destroyed in Syria when their home burned down during the conflict. His mother Maha worries that this might prevent Adnan from one day being able to return to his own country. Fortunately, Adnan was issued with a new official birth certificate in Jordan.

The conflict in Syria has driven more than four million refugees into neighbouring States. Displacement on this scale is placing refugee children at risk of statelessness. Because of gender discrimination in Syria’s nationality law, Syrian children can only acquire nationality through their fathers.

But the conflict has left some 25 % of Syrian refugee households without fathers, making a birth certificate naming a Syrian father the sole means proving a child’s citizenship in many cases. In Jordan, the government has taken steps to ensure that all Syrian refugee children begin life with a birth certificate including through establishing mobile civil registration services in all refugee camps and building strong partnerships to address barriers to the registration of new births and marriages.

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