Jordan garment sector: exploitation of migrant workers

Jordan’s garment sector is booming, driven by a free trade agreement with the United States and cheap migrant labour from South and Southeast Asia. Historically the situation of these vulnerable workers has been dire and although there have been some real improvements in recent years, systemic problems around migrant workers’ legal status and recruitment means serious abusescontinue to occur. The potential for progress to be undone is heightened by the influx of an estimated 1.3 million Syrian refugees

In February 2018 we surveyed  21 garment brands, predominantly from the United States, who source from Jordan. We asked these companies to explain how they are combatting abuse of migrant workers, and how they will seek to integrate and protect Syrian refugees in their supply chains.  You can view the questions we asked brands here.

Below is a collection of the latest resources on this important issue.

(Photo credit: Alisa Reznick/MEE)

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Article
26 June 2020

Jordan: A garment factory threatens to evict its migrant workers

Author: Jordan Labor Watch

Unofficial translation from Arabic into English by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre...

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Report
21 May 2020

Jordan: ILO/ IFC project Better Work issues a policy brief on the concerns of migrant workers in the garment sector

Author: Better Work

 Since late March 2020, Better Work staff have used the period of factory production suspension due to Covid-19 in Jordan to reach out via phone calls to workers and line management personnel. Calls have continued as production began to resume. The...

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Article
15 May 2018

Better Work Jordan releases its 2018 annual report on Jordanian garment factories

Author: Better Work Jordan

This, the ninth Annual Report presents findings and observations from 74 factory assessments completed in 2017. In addition, the report presents the programme’s engagement with national and international stakeholders in the context of relevant policy...

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Article
15 April 2018

Blockchain technology helps Syrian refugees regain lost legal identities

Author: Russ Juskalian, MIT Technology Review

"Inside the Jordan refugee camp that runs on blockchain", 12 April 2018...

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Article
3 April 2018

NGO: Drop in Jordan labour protests attributed to employer and government pressures

Author: Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto, The Jordan Times

"20% drop in labour protests not indicator of better work conditions in Kingdom — report, 1 April 2018...

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Article
19 February 2018

Jordan: Job centre opens for Syrian refugees in Azraq camp

Author: Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto, The Jordan Times

"First job centre opens at Azraq refugee camp", 19 February 2018...

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Article
12 February 2018

$7.3 billion allocated to the Jordan Response Platform for Syrian refugees

Author: Middle East Monitor

"Donors endorse Jordan’s $7.3bn Syria refugee response plan", 2 February 2018...

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Article
15 January 2018

As Jordan's garment sector grows, activists push for better migrant workers' rights

Author: Alisa Reznick, Middle East Eye (UK)

...Stretching across more than a square kilometre of arid desert in northern Jordan, Al Hassan is the largest of 18 special industrial zones churning out readymade garments and textiles for export. It is also home to the thousands of migrant workers...

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Article
8 January 2018

Labour Ministry urged to implement ‘clear standards’ for expulsion of migrant workers

Author: Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto, The Jordan Times

A legal aid organisation based in Amman has urged the Ministry of Labour to implement “clear standards and mechanisms” for the expulsion of migrant workers after the arrest of 10,408 foreign labourers and the deportation of 6,558 of them over the past...

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Article
13 December 2017

Can Jordan get a million Syrians into work?

Author: Daniel Howden, Hannah Patchett and Charlotte Alfred, The Guardian (UK)

...The Jerash Garments & Fashions Manufacturing Company, a factory with 2,800 employees, is run by Oryana Awaisheh, a Jordanian who...is among the pioneers trying to take up the opportunity of the Jordan compact...Awaisheh set out to hire refugees...

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