ILO, Adam Smith International and national stakeholders meet to discuss work permit challenges facing Syrian refugees in Jordan

Key stakeholders participate in workshop examining plan to ease Syrian refugees' access to the Jordanian labour market.

Key stakeholders are taking part in a workshop that aims to find solutions to the challenges facing a drive to enhance Syrian refugees' access to the Jordanian labour market.

Organised by Adam Smith International and the ILO, the workshop will bring together Jordanian labour officials to outline how successful efforts to encourage refugees to apply for work permits have so far been, and what can be done to further facilitate the process.

The workshop comes following the government’s decision to give Syrian refugees who are working in the country without permits, a three-month grace period to rectify their situation as a step towards legalizing their employment status. However, despite these measures, less than 4,000 Syrian refugees have applied for and obtained work permits since the grace period began, according to government records. 

The ILO will present findings of focus group discussions it recently conducted with Syrian refugees working in various sectors. The group discussions, which focused on the sectors of construction, agriculture and food services and retail, aimed to identify the reasons why the latest government steps have not led to a greater number of registered Syrian workers. 

As part of the wider UN-response to the refugee crisis, the ILO has adopted a cross-cutting development-focused strategy in Jordan and Lebanon which supports both refugees and host community residents in order to preserve social and economic stability as well as realise the rights of both to decent work and social justice. 

Part of the ILO’s on-going effort in Jordan includes improving access of Syrian refugees and their host communities to Jordan’s formal labour market.