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ILO lauds removal of Jordan from forced labour list

By JT - Oct 09,2016 - Last updated at Oct 09,2016

'The incidence of forced labour in the production of garments in Jordan has been significantly reduced,' according to a US Department of Labour report (Photo courtesy of International Labour Organisation)

AMMAN — The removal of Jordan’s garment sector from the US forced labour list is a milestone for the industry, an official from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Sunday. 

“In 2006, the challenging working conditions had a huge impact on the sector’s growth and the country’s reputation at large. Despite the difficult situation back then, the stakeholders have turned problems into opportunities to increase the level of compliance,” said Tareq Abu Qaoud, programme manager at the ILO’s Better Work Jordan. 

The US Department of Labour (DOL) removed garments produced in Jordan from its 2016 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorisation Act list, as “the incidence of forced labour in the production of garments in Jordan has been significantly reduced”, a US DOL report read, according to an ILO statement. 

The decision was the result of targeted action, the US report said on September 30, including “the collection and reporting of credible information [and] the investment of significant resources” by the Jordanian and US governments, the ILO, international buyers, the garment sector and the union for garment workers. 

“Working together, these actors have achieved a significant reduction in the incidence of forced labour in the sector,” the report continued.

 

Advances must continue to guarantee further improvement, the US DOL said, particularly in light of the sector’s expected expansion as Syrian refugees are integrated into the formal labour market.

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