ILO in the Arab States

  • International Migrants Day

    A day in the life of a migrant worker

    Many migrant workers around the world suffer from a dearth of fundamental rights at work, including the right to a weekly day off. In the Middle East, some migrants rarely leave their place of work or have the opportunity to meet with fellow workers from their countries. The images in this photo-reportage, from Lebanon and Jordan, shed light on how these migrant workers cook, compete, worship, organize and learn from each other to better their lives and lobby for their rights.

  • Local Economic Development

    Olive festival in Jordan highlights local economic development as a response to the Syrian refugee crisis

    The 2014 Irbid Olive and Rural Produce Festival showcased olive products to support communities in Jordan most affected by the Syrian refugee crisis

  • Migrant Workers Cricket Tournament

    Playing for equality

    A cricket tournament highlights issues affecting migrant workers in Lebanon - and hits out at discrimination to bring communities together.

  • ILO to engage in Gaza reconstruction efforts through expansion of its Palestinian Decent Work Programme

    “Responding to the reconstruction crisis is essential - but the expansion of ILO operations must be re-aligned with national priorities to ensure that the ILO Palestinian Decent Work Programme can provide decent work outcomes for all Palestinians,” said Al-Nashif.

The ILO Regional Office for Arab States promotes decent work in the Levant and the Gulf, covering 11 countries: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. ILO activities in the occupied Palestinian territory are also part of the Regional Office portfolio.

Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon

Since 2012, the flow of refugees from Syria to neighbouring countries has continued unabated and today constitutes one of the largest, most protracted humanitarian emergencies of its kind. The refugee-receiving countries of Jordan and Lebanon were already experiencing difficult economic conditions before the Syrian crisis led to a dramatic increase in labour supply, which has added considerable pressure on their fragile labour markets. The effects of the crisis are also increasingly spilling over into neighbouring countries’ economic and social spheres, resulting in loss of economic activity and income as well as dwindling access to quality public services.

The "ILO Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan and Lebanon" is development-focussed in its support of refugees and host communities and it aims to preserve social and economic stability at the national level.

What's new

  1. Decent Work for Domestic Workers

    ILO gathers regional and international stakeholders to explore establishing migrant domestic worker cooperatives in the Middle East

    17 December 2014

    Domestic worker cooperatives have been set up in many places around the world, but they do not exist in any of the Arab States. A recent study launched by the ILO looks into the cases of Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait, to see if the region is ready for establishing migrant domestic worker cooperatives.

  2. Video

    Resilience-based response to the Syrian crisis

    17 December 2014

    Communicated through engaging info-graphics, this video explores the main pillars of a resilience-building development response to the impact of the Syrian crisis inside Syria and in neighboring countries, adopted by regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG) members, including the International Labour Organization (ILO).

  3. © Ray Witlin / World Bank 2014

    Global Wage Report 2014/15

    Global wage growth stagnates, lags behind pre-crisis rates

    05 December 2014

    The latest ILO Global Wage Report warns of stalled wages in many countries and points to the labour market as a driver of inequality.


  1. Labour inspection in Arab states: progress and challenges

    This is a comparative overview of labour inspection systems in selected Arab countries. It compiles available information on practices and areas of progress. It also highlights major knowledge gaps and areas where improvement is needed in ensuring effective and modern labour administration and inspection systems.

  2. Labour inspection, gender equality and non-discrimination in the Arab states: guide book

    This guide book builds on a number of global and regional materials on gender equality, discrimination and labour inspections.

  3. Tricked and Trapped: Human Trafficking in the Middle East

    This study sheds light on the situation of trafficked adult workers in the Middle East, both women and men.