30 octobre 2008
Jordan – protect the rights of women domestic migrant workers

Tens of thousands of women migrant domestic workers in Jordan face isolation, exploitation and abuse, with little or no protection from the state. Migrant domestic workers are crucial to the economy in Jordan, contributing to the well-being of the households where they work and providing vital incomes for their own families and communities.

Many face exploitation and abuse:

  • Many work 16 to 19 hours daily, with no day off
  • Physical, psychological and sexual abuse is common
  • Many are effectively held captive in their employers’ home
  • Many women are not paid some or all of their meagre wages, sometimes for years

Until this summer, the Labour Law in Jordan excluded domestic workers from the protection offered to other workers, such as minimum wage provisions, sick leave, or days off. Amendments were endorsed by the Jordanian Parliament to state that a separate regulation will be issued to define the terms of their working conditions.

Although this is a step forward, more needs to be done to ensure that the rights of women migrant domestic workers are protected in line with international human rights standards.

Take ActionCall on the government of Jordan to ensure new measures effectively protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers.

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Your Excellency,
I am writing to you because I am concerned about a disturbing pattern of abuses against women migrant domestic workers. Women migrant domestic workers face economic exploitation by their employers, excessive working hours and confinement in their employers’ houses, as well as physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
I am aware of recent efforts made by the Jordanian authorities to introduce measures to improve the conditions of migrant domestic workers, notably the Special Working Contract for Non-Jordanian Domestic Workers and the amendments made to Article 3 of the Labour Law.
Amnesty International is asking the Jordanian authorities to amend the Labour Law so that it covers the employment of migrant workers, as recommended by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. In the immediate term, I call on you to ensure the following provisions are included in the special regulation being developed to define the terms of their working conditions:

provisions to guarantee a minimum wage, access to labour dispute mechanisms, health insurance, regulated working hours, days off and sick leave;
regular monitoring and inspection of recruitment agencies and houses where women migrant domestic workers live and work;
provisions for the prosecution of employers and representatives of recruitment agencies who abuse migrant domestic workers.

If these provisions are included, they would contribute significantly to ending abuses and promoting respect for the rights of women migrant domestic workers in Jordan.

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