Jordan has neither signed nor ratified the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and thus legally avoids most obligations under that instrument. The country is, however, still bound by international customary law, such as the Convention’s principle of non-refoulement, and has subjected itself to a limited protection regime under a 1998 Memorandum of Understanding with the UNHCR.
Jordan’s situation as a host country for Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) is unique. For one group of PRS, Jordan would serve as a second country of refuge: this group consists of Palestinians who originally fled for Syria from Northern Palestine in 1948 and the Golan Heights in 1967. Another group would consider Jordan as their third country of refuge, having originally settled in Jordan, only to be expelled to Syria following the Black September conflict in the early 1970s. Now, Jordan, along with Lebanon and Turkey, faces the onus of hosting upwards of 500,000 PRS.