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3,230 illegal workers detained so far in 2014 — Katamine

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 05,2014 - Last updated at Feb 05,2014

AMMAN — The Labour Ministry has apprehended 3,230 illegal guest workers since the beginning of the year, Labour Minister Nidal Katamine said on Wednesday.

The ministry also decided to deport 410 illegal guest workers of different nationalities and issued warnings to 349 businesses for employing illegal guest workers during the same period, Katamine said in a statement.

“The measures are part of the ongoing campaign carried out in cooperation with the Public Security Department. We urge all guest workers and business owners to comply with the Labour Law,” he added.

Ayman Khawaldeh, head of the ministry’s inspection directorate, said all guest labourers must obtain valid work permits, otherwise they will be deported.

Meanwhile, Labour Ministry Spokesperson Jihad Jadallah, told The Jordan Times that apprehended illegal guest workers are given a grace period to rectify their status, noting that if they fail to do so, they are sent back to their country.

“All illegal guest workers are deported in cooperation with their embassies,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, the Egyptian embassy in Jordan called on Egyptian guest workers who are in violation of the Labour Law to benefit from the grace period given by the Labour Ministry and rectify their status or renew their work permits before February 20, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The ministry has posted on its website the names of guest workers with expired work permits, with their number amounting to 270,000 for the years 2011-13.

In 2013, the ministry detained more than 23,000 illegal guest workers and closed down 803 institutions in violation of the Labour Law, according to official figures.

A recent report issued by the ministry said the number of illegal guest workers more than tripled last year, compared to 2012, when the figure stood at 7,558 migrant labourers, while no institutions were shut down that year.

Meanwhile, the ministry recorded 4,429 labour-related complaints in 2013, a 17 per cent drop compared to 2012, when 5,341 complaints were filed.

There are around 265,000 guest labourers who have valid work permits and around 500,000 illegal workers. Egyptians make up around 60 per cent of the guest labour force in Jordan, according to the ministry.

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