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Violations at garment factories ‘minor’ — Labour Ministry

By Laila Azzeh - Aug 18,2016 - Last updated at Aug 19,2016

AMMAN — The Labour Ministry on Thursday said that violations reported at garment factories in Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) were “minor” and did not amount to human trafficking.

In June, the NGO Tamkeen Fields for Aid reported a number of violations at two factories in the QIZ which it said could constitute human trafficking. 

In a report, the organisation cited abuses against labourers in the factories, including unsuitable accommodation, long working hours and exploitation.

“Our staff immediately visited the two plants and checked on their condition. One of the factories was found to enforce a few additional working hours and we have ticketed the facility,” the head of the Labour Ministry’s inspection unit, Firas Habashneh, told The Jordan Times.

He added that the plant had also failed to renew some of the labourers’ work permits.

“These violations cannot be considered human trafficking crimes whatsoever,” said Habashneh.

No violations were found at the other factory.

“The second factory is on our Golden List, which includes distinguished companies in the qualified zones that follow certain criteria, allowing them to benefit from incentives,” said Nisreen Abu Jamous, one of the QIZ inspectors.

She said that the complaint filed against the factory was “malicious”.

“The accusations were made by a former employee who was laid off,” Abu Jamous told The Jordan Times.

She added that staff from the ministry’s inspectors and human trafficking department had paid unannounced visits to the factories in question and checked on the employees’ work conditions and accommodation.

 

The QIZ host offices that are responsible for monitoring factories around-the-clock to protect workers’ rights and ensure the facilities abide by safety standards, according to Habashneh and Abu Jamous.

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