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‘11,705 illegal guest workers caught so far in 2016’

By JT - Sep 19,2016 - Last updated at Sep 19,2016

AMMAN — The Labour Ministry has detected 11,705 illegal guest workers during 53,076 inspection visits to workplaces so far this year, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Monday.

The ministry issued 4,089 fines and 5,087 warnings against companies that violated the labour and residency laws, while  4,325 guest workers were deported and 433 businesses closed since the start of the year.

Regarding child labour, the ministry said it conducted 4,281 inspection visits since the start of 2016 and dealt with 1,158 cases of child labour, 842 of which involved Jordanian children. Some 901 fines and 566 warnings were issued to businesses hiring children. 

The ministry pledged in August to take all necessary measures to support the agricultural sector and protect farm workers, and to crack down on unlicensed offices illegally recruiting domestic helpers. 

The ministry’s Secretary General Farouq Hadidi said several decisions had been taken to regulate the local labour market, including allowing farmers to recruit guest workers in accordance with the Labour Law and coordinating with the concerned authorities to reduce annual work permit fees from JD300 to JD60.

He said the ministry’s inspection teams would intensify their checks on facilities and institutions that recruit guest workers, and that a joint campaign would be carried out with the Public Security Department to stop guest workers assembling near roundabouts and public squares to wait for work.

The ministry said some recruitment offices may be involved in encouraging guest workers to illegally change their employers, taking advantage of workers’ lack of knowledge of local labour laws.

According to a recent National Child Labour Survey, conducted by the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, the Department of Statistics and the International Labour Organisation, child labour in the country has almost doubled in less than 10 years, with half of the children engaged in hazardous work.


Some 88 per cent of child workers are boys, the report found, while 80 per cent are Jordanians and 20 per cent are Syrian refugees.

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