Monday, October 1, 2012

Jordan: Poor Implementation of measures to protect migrant workers hampers redress, says local NGO

Amman Monday October 1st, 2012

Tamkeen Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights stated in its report issued today that although Jordan is one of the first countries in the region to have passed legislations that protect migrant workers in the labor law, by including domestic workers in the labor law:by not applying these provisions and laws thereby making the legislation lose its value.

The report “Between A Rock and A Hard Place: Migrant workers caught between employers' abuse and poor implementation of the law” monitored the status of domestic workers and Egyptian workers in Jordan from 2011 until mid-2012. The report
included the abuses that migrant workers in Jordan are subjected to such as: confiscation of passports, withholding wages, and poor living conditions such as inadequate sleeping places, long working hours, and denial of the one day off rule in addition to the mistreatment by employers.

This report was based on the cases received by Tamkeen, the monitored follow-up procedures of these cases, and the meetings and discussions between Tamkeen Center, decision makers, and employers from 2011 until the middle of 2012. During this period Tamkeen monitored 922 cases of different nationality migrant workers from different sectors. Of these cases: 747 were domestic workers, 29 cases were individual cases, eight cases were groups of migrant workers working in the garment sector , and 138 cases were brought by Egyptian workers.

The report criticized the inaccessibility for workers to gain work permits and residency permits of their own accord. Instead it is only the employer who can obtain these visas for the worker. If the employer fails to provide work and residency permits it is then the worker who must pay the related fines and is exposed to the possibility of detention due to the breach of residency and foreign affairs law. This promotes the sponsorship system, which is considered a form of modern slavery in spite of the fact that there is nothing in the Jordanian legislation that refers to anything called “sponsorship system”.

To view the report, “Between A Rock and A Hard Place: Migrant workers caught between employers' abuse and poor implementation of the law,” please visit:

For more information, please contact:
Linda Alkalash: Amman- Jordan ( +962 79 640 4408) linda at
Taleb Alsaqqaf: Amman-Jordan( + 962 77 787 8688) taleb.saqaf at 

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