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Youth economic security, skills and empowerment in Jordan

Research report

Written by Nicola Jones, Jude Sajdi, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Kifah Bani Odeh, Aida Essaid, Agnieszka Małachowska, Joost Vintges

Image credit:A view of Zaatari refugee camp located in north Jordan, close to the border with Syria in 2018. Credit: Richard Juilliart / Shutterstock.com

In 2021 there were more than 25 million refugees globally, with Syrians accounting for around a quarter and more than half under the age of 18.

This report learns from positive outliers among youth affected by forced displacement in Jordan.

Since 2018, the Global Compact on Refugees has emphasised the need to support refugees to build sustainable and dignified livelihoods, while highlighting the economic and social benefits their economic integration could bring to host communities. By shifting the focus from short-term humanitarian aid to education, growth and job creation for host communities, some progress has been made on offering school places, vocational training opportunities and work permits.

However, most research on economic participation focuses on adult refugees and specifically men. This report, instead, captures youth aspirations and experiences in building independent and sustainable livelihoods. It incorporates a gender lens to identify and analyse the factors that promote or hinder youth participation in the labour market, paying particular attention to gender norms and roles.