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Around 200,000 Syrians illegally work in Jordan — ministry

By JT - Jun 20,2015 - Last updated at Jun 20,2015

AMMAN — Between 160,000 and 200,000 Syrians are illegally working in the Kingdom, Labour Ministry Secretary General Hamadah Abu Nijmeh told Al Rai.

A total of 5,700 Syrians obtained work permits during 2014, according to the official, who noted that the ministry does not give work permits to Syrians who enter Jordan as refugees. 

Illegal Syrian workers are sent to security centres where they sign a pledge stating they will not repeat the violation, but are not sent back to Syria because of the political and security situation there, according to Abu Nijmeh.

He said most Syrians work in construction, retail and wholesale stores, restaurants, services and agriculture, especially in northern governorates and Amman.

The Labour Ministry allows employers to hire guest workers in jobs that are not demanded by Jordanians and according to ratios set with the business owners and their representatives.

The ministry conducts inspection campaigns around the Kingdom and takes legal measures against employers that commit violations which include a fine of between JD200 and JD500, referral to court, and warnings to rectify their legal status, Abu Nijmeh said.

Moreover, if the status of guest workers is not rectified, the ministry closes the institution and does not allow it to reopen until it does.

Guest workers need work permits to own mobile phones or send money out of Jordan through banks or exchange stores, Abu Nijmeh said, adding that companies are not allowed to employ them illegally in projects financed and supervised by the government.


Moreover, ministries and public institutions are not allowed to employ guest workers for cleaning or food services.

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