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Almost 5,000 migrant workers deported since start of year

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Aug 18,2018 - Last updated at Aug 18,2018

AMMAN — A total of 4,987 expatriate workers have been deported since the beginning of the year due to violations of the provisions of the Labour Law, Director of the Labour Ministry’s inspection department Mnawar Abu Al Ghanem announced on Thursday.  

The deportation of workers came as a result of over 56,000 labour inspection visits aimed at ascertaining the extent to which employers commit to the Labour Law, Al Ghanem said, noting that, in addition to the expulsion of migrant workers, a total of 2,845 violations of the Labour Code were recorded, resulting in 420 closure warnings. 

Commenting on the announcement, director of the migrant rights group Tamkeen Fields for Aid Linda Al Kalash told The Jordan Times that “deportation is a disproportionate punishment for migrant workers who do not have the right to choose their employers freely or renew their papers by themselves”, pointing out that “according to the international conventions on labour, deportation must be issued through a court session, while in Jordan it is still administratively issued”. 

“The labour inspection visits are always focused on the legal status of migrant workers instead of their labour conditions, and not the employers’ adherence to the law,” she warned, complaining that “the punishment applied to employers is still not enough”. 

In addition to the routinary labour inspections, a total of 5,542 extra visits focusing on child labour prevention were also conducted, leading to the documentation of 451 violations and the issuance of 430 warnings against employers of children under the legal age to work. 

In this regard, Al Kalash commented that the punishment applied to companies employing children under the legal age is “not sufficient”, pointing out that “no integration strategy has been put in place for children who have fallen victims of child labour”. 

The Ministry of Labour was not available for comment on Al Kalash’ remarks, despite several attempts by The Jordan Times. 

For his part, Ministry of Labour Secretary General Hani Khleifat called on both employers and expatriate workers to “abide by the Labour Law and related regulations”, stressing that “the ministry will not tolerate any legal violation, and will take legal action against all perpetrators whether employers or employees”.

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