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Gov’t urged to endorse convention on protection of migrant workers

By Laila Azzeh - Mar 07,2017 - Last updated at Mar 07,2017

AMMAN — A local guest workers’ advocate society is urging the government to endorse the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Their Families to improve their overall situation in the Kingdom. 

In its annual report, “Walled by Alienation: Working and Living Conditions of Migrant Workers in Jordan”, the Tamkeen Fields for Aid also called for ensuring equality between Jordanian and foreign workers by ending the exception of the minimum wage.

The minimum wage, raised recently to JD220, only applies to Jordanians. 

Moreover, the report underlined the need to improve the efficiency of the inspection system, increasing the number of competent inspectors and providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools. 

“There is also a need to revisit the definition of human trafficking crimes and legislation that is not in line with the endorsed protocol,” Tamkeen Director Linda Kalash said on Tuesday. 

The annual report also highlighted the issue of administrative detention, noting that nearly 19,860 workers have been detained in 2015, of whom 4 per cent are migrants.

Administrative detention, an ongoing practice by prosecutors general, is considered a violation of the workers’ personal freedom, according to the report. 

The cost of detaining guest workers reached JD750 per person per month, or JD92.7 million a year, the report said.

“If alternative penalties were available, the cost would drop by 25 per cent to reach JD69.6 million,” said the report, which added that some detainees remain in the police station up to 11 months. 

The condition of Syrian refugees in the labour market was also addressed in the report, in addition to deportation and other abuses guest workers face. 

The Labour Ministry said earlier this month that it has detected 2,700 illegal guest workers of different nationalities since the start of the year.


According to official figures, there are more than half-a-million illegal workers in Jordan, while labour rights activists estimate the number to exceed 700,000. 

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