Protecting Migrant Workers’ Rights in Jordan

The objective of this project is to improve the fundamental rights of workers in Jordan, particularly foreign migrant workers.


Jordan has a very high population of non-nationals and over half the new jobs created annually are reportedly filled by foreign workers. Migrant workers in Jordan come primarily from Egypt and several countries in South East Asia like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia, employed primarily in agriculture, construction, garment, tourism and hospitality and domestic work. The Ministry of Labour continuously carries out inspection campaigns to root out non-compliances in illegal recruitment practices. Seven of the ILO eight core labour conventions were ratified by the Government of Jordan. It is yet to ratify Convention 87, which guarantees freedom of association for migrant workers, including the right to form their own unions. Despite encouraging progress in addressing the rights of migrant workers, significant gaps remain with regard to worker protection in different sectors of the Jordanian economy.


The objective of this project is to improve the fundamental rights of workers in Jordan, particularly foreign migrant workers. It aims to:
• Increase respect for internationally recognized labour rights and improve the working and living conditions of workers, particularly migrant workers.
• Ensure that better protection and services are extended to workers, especially migrant workers.
• Ensure enhanced respect for workers’ rights, especially migrant workers, through improved recruitment practices.
• Improve labour management cooperation and collective bargaining agreements in the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) and construction sectors.
• Help trade unions reach out to and empower migrant workers and provide them with better services and information.
• Support the Ministry of Labour to enable it to fulfil particular functions essential to protecting migrant workers’ rights, including better regulation of private employment agencies.


• Produce promotional outreach material and information leaflets for migrant workers in several languages.
• Enhance cooperation between service providers through the establishment of the Labour Attaché Network (LAN) with representatives from the embassies of migrant workers as well as with local NGOs that extend protection and legal services to migrant workers.
• Assess the current implementation status of existing bilateral migrant agreements with the countries of origin of migrant workers and identify scope for new agreements.
• Review and introduce a social entitlement package and introduce a comprehensive migration policy.
• Develop sectoral standard employment contracts for the garment and construction sectors.
• Introduce a trade union policy on migrant workers in the construction sector.
• Assess current practices and attitudes towards migrant workers in the construction industry in Jordan and provide recommendations on the inclusion of migrant labour practices in the labour law.
• Provide recommendations on the inclusion of migrant labour practices in a code of conduct for the Jordanian construction industry.
• Convene stakeholder consultations and recommendations on work permits and the qualification system in the construction industry.
• Carry out rights-based awareness-raising sessions for domestic workers in preparation for the organization of domestic workers in Jordan.
• Provide support and training for law enforcement officials on human trafficking and forced labour, and institutionalize training material by incorporating it into the training material used by law enforcement agencies in Jordan.
• Conduct research on the status of collective bargaining in Jordan in both the garment and construction sectors.
• Carry out a bipartite training programme on collective bargaining, regulations, stages, and techniques for officials from workers’ unions and employers’ associations in the garment and construction sectors.


• Trade unions capacity to provide support services to workers, including through collective bargaining enhanced: a new policy on migrant workers submitted and 100 migrant workers received legal and other assistance through the General Union for Construction Workers (GUCW) and the General Trade Union for Workers in the Textile Industry (GTUTI).
• Labour attachés and the National Centre for Human Rights’ (NCHR) ability to provide assistance to migrant workers encountering labour violations is improved: a Labour Attaché Network formed that has regular meetings; 15 labour attachés and embassy staff trained; and at least 200 migrant workers received legal and other assistance.
• The institutional framework and capacity of the Ministry of Labour to support migrant workers’ rights strengthened: draft standard employment contracts in construction and QIZ’s submitted; input to multilateral agreement approach provided; and basic entitlement floor for the protection of migrant workers initiated.
• A framework for improved recruitment practices in the construction sector in place: recommendations on work permit and worker qualifications provided; and a 20 per cent increase in the number of private employment agencies inspected.
• Employers in the construction sector convene and adopt better recruitment and employment practices: a 30 per cent increase in the use of standardized contracts; and a construction code adopted.
• Training carried out to promote collective bargaining and background research on collective bargaining in the construction and QIZ sectors: training courses carried out for 100 trainees of the GUCW/GTUTI and 20 trainees of the Ministry of Labour; a 10 per cent increase in collective bargaining agreements.