Desk review reveals gaps in the protection of migrant workers’ rights in the Jordanian anti-human trafficking law
January 4,2016 9:59 AM
Desk review conducted in the framework of ’Protecting Human Rights of Migrant Workers’ –project in Jordan reveals significant gaps in the protection of migrant workers’ rights in the Jordanian anti-human trafficking law No. 9 of 2009. Legal provisions protecting migrant workers against discrimination and abuse lack behind international standards and require immediate action from the Jordanian Parliament in the form of amended legislation.
The estimated number of documented and undocumented migrant workers in Jordan varies between 400,000 and 1.5 million, most of whom come to Jordan from Egypt, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka and find low-paid employment in agriculture, construction, garment industry, tourism, hospitality and domestic work. Although the Government of Jordan has ratified most of the relevant international conventions protecting the rights of migrant workers and regularly carries out inspection campaigns to address harmful practices, serious gaps remain at the very nature of the legal protection of migrant workers’ rights.
The desk review conducted by the Jordan Parliamentary Research Centre (PRC) in the framework of ’Protecting Human Rights of Migrant Workers’ –project draws attention to the several inconsistencies between the international conventions and Jordan’s national legislation. For instance, the current anti-human trafficking law does not include punishment or clear procedures for some cases of human trafficking, contain clear definition of victim and inflicted, provide protection for victims and witnesses, or guarantee fair trial as it is agreed upon in the international human rights standards. Moreover, the law lacks public policy and references to awareness and educational measures that would help fight against human trafficking and address its consequences in communities. Provisions to international conventions and standards regarding the crime of human trafficking are also absent from the law regardless that Jordan has ratified most of the relevant international human rights conventions on anti-human trafficking.
Following the desk review, the Jordan Parliamentary Research Centre (PRC) with support of ten members of the Jordanian Parliament has proposed amendments to the Jordan anti-human trafficking law No. 9 of 2009 that would bring the law in line with international conventions ratified by the Jordanian Government and thus fulfill the government’s international commitments. The amended legislation will be brought to the Jordanian Parliament’s attention during spring 2016 and it will help ease the protection of foreign workers in a country that is not only a destination of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers every year but also a subject to a heavy refugee influx from the neighboring countries that will also have effect on the country’s official and unofficial labor market requiring additional legal protection.
The “Protecting Human Rights of Migrant Workers’” is a project implemented by Future Pioneers in Sahab City south of the capital Amman, currently hosting around 40,000 migrant workers from Egypt and South East Asia. The project receives its funding from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society and the European Union.