In the Jordanian Constitution, the full right to work is reserved only for Jordanian citizens and imposes tight restrictions on access to work and work opportunities for all foreigners, including refugees.
As we have already underlined Jordan has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and has not a exhaustive refugee legislation. Jordan has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with UNHCR in 1998 which is used as legal guideline when supporting refugees.
Additionally, Jordanian labor law does not contain any explicit references to guaranteed protections for refugees, referring to Syrian refugees as “visitors” or “guests,” titles that have no meaning under domestic law.
The Jordan Compact, drafted on February 4, 2016, at a London donor conference, is a recent indicator of Jordan’s commitment to expanding employment opportunities for refugees. It promises the issuance of work permits to 200,000 Syrian refugees and opens the labor market to foreign workers, focusing on development rather than limiting itself to a discussion of borders. Specifically, the Jordan Compact aspires to benefit Syrian refugees, Jordan, and the EU by turning the Syrian refugee crisis into a development opportunity. Jordan, however, still lacks formal legislation protecting refugees’ right to work.
ILO, International Labour Organisation Arab States
The International Labour Organization is an agency of the United Nations. It is works together with governments, unions, employers and worker representatives to elaborate labour standards and policies and promote decent work in different parts of the world.
The ILO Regional Office for Arab States covers Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the UAE and Yemen. Two area offices are located in Kuwait and Jerusalem.
Supporting the strategic objectives of the London Syria Conference 2016 (Oct 2016):
Jordan issues first-of-their-kind work permits to Syria refugees in the Arab region (Aug 2017):
Some news from UNHRC (October 2017)
Work Permits for Syrian Refugees in the Urban Environment in Jordan FAQs
FAQs documents about requirements for Urban Work Permit in Jordan
Work Permits for Syrian Refugees Returns in Jordan FAQs
FAQs documents about requirements for Returns Work Permit in Jordan
Work Permits in Zaatari and Azraq Camp
FAQs documents about requirements for Work Permit in Zaatari and Azraq Camps Jordan
Walk the Talk Livelihoods (Work Permit)
What has been committed and what is recommended
The work permit maze
Infographic to show the steps to get a work permit in Jordan
Families Development Association (FDA)
Provides vocational training on domestic work to women. Preparing women to participate in the workforce whilst educating them on their rights and empowering them
Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU)
Runs a shelter for abused women, including migrant workers. Amongst legal aid and psychosocial counselling, they are offered the opportunity to earn a living through a catering business run by the union. The organisation also provides workers’ repatriation fees with external funds when available.
(the Jordan Micro Credit Company) provides women entrepreneurs access to finance, an essential element in starting and improving businesses and building a future for their families and communities