The plight of migrant domestic workers in Jordan

Migrant domestic workers are protected under stout laws in Jordan. However, failure to enforce them has lead to constant abuse of domestic workers. As many as 70,000 domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines are subject to whipping. These domestic workers are bound to stay in the place of torture as the employers seize their passport. Even when the workers work for lengthy hours still the employers sometimes do not pay their salary and all this in the face of legal milestones in Jordan over the past three years to protect domestic workers rights.

As many as 70,000 domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines are subject to whipping.


The human rights group has urged Jordan to implement the country’s laws. Under these laws, the domestic workers can avail a maximum 10-hour workday along with a weekly day of rest. Furthermore, they will also get standard salary payments. These laws will help in curtailing the ill-treatment rendered by the employers and also by the recruitment agencies. Along with this the human rights activist has also opined that if the abusers face prison and hefty fines, they will then be forced to mend their behavior towards the workers.

Many a times it becomes impossible to trace culprits as workers are unable to leave the house to make the complaint. However, the sad part is that the majorities of these workers are women and since the last so many years the region has seen an increase in numbers of the female domestic workers. The numbers has increased 10 times compared to the year 1984 when there were only 8,000 female workers. One reason which can explain the pitiable condition of these women migrant workers is that, time and again these women domestic workers are deprived from basic freedom. When they expose themselves to the external world they are at a high risk of getting stuck in an extremely vulnerable situation. Their lack of understanding the local language of the region adds to the problem as the employers force them to sign labor contract without even them indentifying the conditions. All these and the above circumstances made them vulnerable to the situation and the end result is exploitation.


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