Home » News and Events » Phenix Center: Obstacles in the mechanism of using and recruiting migrant labor in the agricultural sector undermine working conditions

Phenix Center: Obstacles in the mechanism of using and recruiting migrant labor in the agricultural sector undermine working conditions

A specialized policy paper asserts that the mechanism for the use and recruitment of non-Jordanian labor in the agricultural sector involves obstacles that weaken decent work conditions and hinder workers’ enjoyment of their rights.

The paper issued by the Phenix Center for Economic and Information Studies, entitled “Towards Fairer Conditions of Employment and Recruitment of Non-Jordanian Workers in the Agricultural Sector 2023,” revealed that most migrant workers in the agricultural sector suffer from inadequate working conditions such as low wages, long working hours, and the absence of social protections, in addition to those who hold work permits and work in unofficial ways.

The paper pointed out that the texts of the Regulations on Conditions and Procedures for the Employment and Recruitment of Non-Jordanian Workers of 2012 contain many gaps that undermine decent work conditions in the agricultural sector and promote abuses that expose migrant workers to the risk of deportation and the lack of guarantees for the implementation of their labor rights.

The gaps, according to the paper, are the lack of a clear mechanism for deciding whether to accept or reject applications for employment and recruitment of migrant workers, as no reasons and justifications are provided for applications that are rejected, leaving the field open to the influence of relationships and “wasta” on the acceptance of many work permits for some employers.

The paper pointed out that the lack of clarity and transparency in this mechanism deprives many migrant workers of their right to obtain a job opportunity without specific and clear reasons.

There are also provisions in the regulations that allow employers to cooperate with brokers to issue permits to migrant workers in exchange for money according to a so-called “commercial contract” or “free contract,” and when they come to Jordan, these workers work on a daily basis for different employers in a way that violates the legislation.

The paper noted that there are other gaps in the regulations related to forced labor, discrimination based on nationality, and a lack of clarity on the time frame for signing contracts.

The paper recommended the need to define a clear mechanism for accepting and rejecting applications for employment and recruitment, providing reasons for rejection, exempting migrant workers in the agricultural sector from providing bank guarantees, and using a flexible contract system that suits the nature of work in the sector.

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