BEIRUT

Middle East

Jordan 'not protecting' rights of women migrant workers

AMMAN: Jordanian rights activists accused the government on Thursday of failing to protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers, a week after Amnesty International said they were being abused. "The government did not improve its laws in line with international treaties or find mechanisms to protect the rights of women migrant domestic workers," the National Center for Human Rights said in a statement.

"The center has received several complaints of inhuman treatment and abuse of these workers ... including sexual harassment," it added.

It added that many employers accuse migrant workers of committing crimes in order to deport them and avoid paying their salaries.

"In one case, a woman worker was forced to work for seven years without getting her salary," said the center, the kingdom's only human-rights group.

"We urge the government to introduce new laws to protect female migrant workers, ensure that they take their salary, provide them with health insurance and closely monitor their employers," the center added.

London-based Amnesty International said in a report last Thursday that tens of thousands of women workers in Jordan face isolation, exploitation and abuse, with little or no protection from the state.

"They suffer from physical, psychological and sexual abuse. They are slapped, kicked, beaten, spat at and threatened with violence, usually by members of the employer's household," Amnesty International said, calling on the country to reform its labor laws.

Jordan has some 40,000 registered women migrant domestic workers. Many come from South and South East Asia, mostly from Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, according to the watchdog. - AFP

 

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