ILO, JCC and partners discuss amendments to cooperative legislation in the country

The proposed modifications to the country’s cooperative law are meant to eventually lead to revised legislation, paving the way for an autonomous, inclusive and self-reliant cooperative movement in Jordan.

Press release | 27 January 2023

Dead Sea, Jordan (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Jordan Cooperative Corporation (JCC) held a workshop to discuss amendments to the national legislation regulating the cooperative movement in the country. Representatives from key ministries and social partners’ organizations and a broad spectrum of key local and international stakeholder institutions joined the two-day technical workshop (January 27-28) at the Dead Sea in Jordan.

The improvement of regulatory, developmental and representational functions of cooperatives in the country were among the recommended steps discussed at the event. Such initiatives build upon the national strategy for the cooperative movement that was launched in 2021, developed with support from the ILO, which seeks to strengthen the role of cooperatives in enhancing decent work and productivity in different economic sectors in Jordan.

Discussions at the workshop developed within the framework of the 2022 International Labour Conference resolution on decent work and the social and solidarity economy, which achieved, for the first time, an international definition of the social and solidarity economy based on its values, principles and entities.

“This consultative meeting is consistent with the country’s economic modernization vision, the ongoing public sector development, and the national sustainability plan for the agricultural sector,” said Minister of Agriculture Khalid Al- Hanifat at the event. “There is an urgent need to develop and upgrade the Jordanian cooperative movement on various levels through an overall reorganization that could guarantee the expansion of its work, and the creation of a fund set up to provide cooperatives with financing for its operations.”

The work of the ILO with the Jordanian cooperative sector has been based on discussions with local and international partners and on the agency’s Recommendation No. 193. This sees the promotion of cooperatives as an effective way to promote decent work and sustainable development for all members of society.

The proposed modifications to the country’s cooperative law are meant to eventually lead to revised legislation, paving the way for an autonomous, inclusive and self-reliant cooperative movement in Jordan.

“We are delighted to be continuing the discussion concerning the laws regulating the cooperative movement in Jordan with the ministries, the JCC and our partners in the country and across the region,” says ILO PROSPECTS Regional Chief Technical Adviser Shaza Al Jondi. “We believe that a balanced society necessitates the existence of strong public and private sectors, as well as a strong and well-regulated cooperative movement to contribute to a robust socio-economic development. Cooperatives have a proven record of creating and sustaining employment globally in traditional and emerging sectors. Through the proposed amendments, we hope to further advance livelihoods opportunities for Jordanians, refugees, and migrant women and men.”

The development of Jordanian cooperatives and their vertical representative structures is crucial for many society segments. This is due to the cooperative movement’s special importance in contributing to the development of local communities in rural areas to advance youth employment, women economic empowerment, and improving livelihoods in the informal economy.

“The modernization of the cooperative work will reflect on general growth indicators as well as on the country’s families,” said Abdel Fattah Al-Shalabi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the JCC. “The effects of the development of the cooperative movement will be especially felt in rural areas across all Jordan’s governorates, creating direct and indirect job opportunities. Cooperatives represent a crucial pillar for the achievement of food security in the country through the local agri-food industry, products manufacturing and logistics services.”

The workshop was supported by the PROSPECTS Programme, a global partnership supported by the Government of the Netherlands on improving the prospects for forcibly displaced persons and host communities. Under the PROSPECTS partnership in Jordan, the ILO’s work on cooperatives has focused on supporting the movement’s policy development and legislative reforms, strengthening the JCC, building the cooperatives’ institutional capacities and improving their overall management.