Access to work in Jordan & Lebanon for Syrian refugees, migrant workers & host populations

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Article
16 October 2017

Jordan: IKEA collaboration with Syrian refugee women offers steady, year-round employment

Author: Anne Quito, Quartz

"Syrian refugee women are finding shelter—and a salary—in IKEA’s supply chain", 13 October 2017

In February this year, IKEA put into motion a long-term plan to employ Syrian refugee women in Jordan, specifically from the 80% of displaced migrants who live outside of the country’s five refugee camps. The number of women employed is small, but those who work here say getting a big order from a global corporation like IKEA [is] life-changing: A Syrian mother is able to earn enough money for her family while her husband is still struggling to get a work permit…“This is not a charity,” explains Vaishali Misra, head of IKEA’s five-year old social entrepreneur initiative. Instead of hiring thousands of refugees for seasonal work, IKEA says they’re interested in providing steady, year-round jobs. “It’s a long-term partnership that we have. This fits very well in in our strategy of making life better for many more…” Each artisan is paid a salary equal or above the legal monthly minimum wage of…$310 set by [the] government. Workers who work from home and not in the IKEA factory are compensated based on the number of pieces they produce. They also receive social security benefits and insurance…

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Article
16 October 2017

UNHCR, ILO and World Bank: Majority of surveyed Syrian workers in Jordan believe their employers will not sponsor them

Author: UNHCR, ILO and World Bank

"UNHCR, ILO and World Bank: Periodic Analysis of Syrian Workers in Jordan", October 2017

A recent survey of Syrians working in Jordan found that the majority want work permits, but say that their employers are currently unable or unwilling to sponsor them. Among Syrians currently working without work permits, 89 per cent said that they want a work permit. However, only 26 percent believe their employers would sponsor them. Further research is needed to understand the reasons behind employer reluctance to sponsor Syrian workers for work permits. Qualitative assessments point to several issues that constrain businesses from formalizing their Syrian employees: businesses themselves are unregistered, employers are unable to commit to stable employment for the worker, the time and effort required to obtain a work permit, and that the quota system prevents registration of additional non-Jordanian workers…Among those surveyed, the majority work on a short term basis. Nearly a third are day labourers. 37 per cent hold work permits, most of them through agriculture cooperatives. Of those who hold work permits, the majority paid the work permit fees themselves. The survey, based on a random sample of Syrians registered with UNHCR, reached 548 Syrians currently working in Jordan…

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Article
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Author: رانيا الصرايرة، الغد الأردني

إطلاق "حقي اشتغل بكرامة" للتوعية بمعايير العمل اللائق، 7 أكتوبر 2017

[أطلق] المرصد العمالي، التابع لمركز الفينيق للدراسات الاقتصادية والمعلوماتية...حملة للتوعية بمعايير العمل اللائق بعنوان "حقي اشتغل بكرامة"، ليكون جوهر مطالبة الحكومة بإعادة النظر بشكل جذري بسياساتها الاقتصادية والاجتماعية، خاصة سياسات العمل والتشغيل، وتطوير سياسات تشغيل فعالة وعادلة، وتنظيم سوق العمل. ويأتي إطلاق الحملة...بالتزامن مع الاحتفال باليوم العالمي للعمل اللائق...وهي المناسبة التي يعتبرها المرصد العمالي "فرصة سانحة لإعادة تذكير الرأي العام الأردني والجهات الأخرى بمعايير العمل اللائق بحسب ما اعتمدتها منظمة العمل الدولية". وتشمل هذه المعايير ايجاد فرص عمل للنساء والرجال في ظروف من الحرية والمساوة والأمان والكرامة الانسانية، وتوفير الأمان للعاملين في مكان العمل من حيث شمول العمال وأسرهم بالحماية الاجتماعية، وتوفير فرص جيدة للتنمية الشخصية والمهنية، وإعطاء العمال الحرية في التعبير عن همومهم ومخاوفهم وتنظيم انفسهم، والمشاركة في اتخاذ القرارات التي تؤثر على حياتهم، وضمان تكافؤ الفرص والمعاملة المتساوية لهم... تقارير سابقة للمرصد العمالي تؤكد ان "غالبية عمال الأردن ما زالوا غير قادرين على تنظيم أنفسهم، ومحرومين من حق التنظيم النقابي، إذ ما زالت وزارة العمل ترفض تأسيس نقابات عمالية جديدة خارج إطار النقابات العمالية الرسمية الـ 17 نقابة والتي لم يزد عددها منذ أكثر من ثلاثة عقود"...

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Article
13 October 2017

Small hands, enormous commitments: Child labor among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon

Author: Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor

…Due to limited financial aid, Syrian families are forced to send their children to work instead of sending them to schools. The Lebanese education sector also plays a role in driving them away. With children working side by side with adults, a critical situation is created. Anti-slavery International estimates that 60 to 70 percent of Syrian refugee children are forced to work. Even more critically, over 85 percent of working children are in “risky” jobs, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO). In this report, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor aims to highlight the crisis faced by refugee children from Syria in Lebanon, and its causes and effects on the children themselves and their families. Through this, the Euro-Med aims to pressure locally and internationally to improve the situation of children in Lebanon in general and the children of Syria in particular, being the most vulnerable, and the most in need.

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Article
10 October 2017

Jordan: 50 companies participate in ILO job fair offering 1,600 work opportunities to Syrian refugees

Author: Camille Dupire, Jordan Times

“Zaatari refugee camp job fair offers 1,600 job opportunities”, 5 October 2017

Around 1,000 Syrian refugees on Wednesday convened to the Zaatari Office for Employment (ZOE) to attend the unprecedented job fair organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the EU, UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the government’s Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD)… Over 50 national and international companies from across Jordan were present at the event, offering over 1,600 job opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, garment and manufacturing, construction and chemicals, among others…“This job fair is directly linked to the EU-Jordan Compact and the decision by the EU to relax the rules of origins signed in 2016,” Ambassador Fontana said, referring to the decision by the EU to open its markets to Jordanian products coming from companies who employ at least 15 per cent Syrian refugees…

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Report
5 October 2017

Report: 530,000 Syrian children remain out of education in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan; work permits required to reduce poverty-related barriers to education

Author: Human Rights Watch

“Following the Money: Lack of Transparency in Donor Funding for Syrian Refugee Education”, 14 September 2017

…Host countries and foreign donors are crucial partners if Syrian refugee children are to realize their right to education. But Human Rights Watch’s previous research in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan has shown that host country policies have created obstacles to their education, including restrictions that exacerbate poverty and add to pressures for children to work or marry rather than go to school. In addition, since local resources are insufficient, Syrian children’s access to education also depends on the effective delivery of adequate international aid, which has often been lacking. This report tracks donors’ fulfillment of their pledges to support education for Syrian refugees in 2016…[A]t least 530,000 Syrian children are still not receiving any education in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan…[Furthermore,] donors missed the specific funding targets for Jordan and Lebanon that conference participants endorsed…Greater transparency could help to show why [school] enrollment goals are being missed, identify the responsible parties, and pressure them to improve. It could pinpoint the extent to which host country policies, as opposed to insufficient donor funding, are keeping children out of school…

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Article
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Author: وكالة عمون الإخبارية، الأردن

"دراسة: نحو 145 ألف عامل سوري في الاردن لا يحملون تصاريح عمل"، 14 سبتمبر 2017

أظهرت نتائج دراسة مسحية بعنوان 'اللاجئون السوريون والمواطنون الأردنيون: التصورات والاتجاهات'، ان...هناك ما بين 160 و200 ألف عامل سوري في الأردن، بينهم نحو 35 ألف فقط يحملون تصاريح عمل... وبين 70 بالمئة من السوريين بأنهم دخلوا الأردن كلاجئين، و30 بالمئة دخلوا عن طريق الحدود الرسمية، فيما أفاد 61 بالمئة من الذين دخلوا كلاجئين بأنهم سكنوا في المخيمات المخصصة للاجئين السوريين قبل سكنهم بمكان الإقامة الحالي (خارج المخيم)...ويعتقد 76 بالمئة من السوريين بأن أصحاب المحال التجارية الذين يشغّلون اللاجئين السوريين يدفعون لهم أجراً أقل من العمال الأردنيين، فيما لا يعتقد بذلك 16 بالمئة من السوريين. كما يعتقد 77 بالمئة من الأردنيين أن وجود اللاجئين السوريين في الأردن يزيد بدرجة كبيرة من الضغط الاقتصادي والخدماتي على الحكومة الأردنية، فيما أفاد 17 بالمئة بأنه يزيد الضغط بدرجة متوسطة، وأفاد 3 بالمئة بانه يزيد الضغط بدرجة قليلة. وحول أهم سبب يدفع أصحاب المحال التجارية الى تشغيل اللاجئين السوريين، ذكر 83 بالمئة من الأردنيين أن الأجرة الأقل التي يتلقاها العامل السوري مقارنة بالعامل الأردني هي السبب الرئيس.

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Article
14 September 2017

Lebanon: ILO, Ministry of Labour, and Norwegian Embassy launch support centre for local and refugee child labourers

Author: ILO

“ILO seeks to combat street-based child labour through new support centre in Beirut”, 8 September 2017

The…ILO, Lebanon’s Ministry of Labour...and the Norwegian Embassy…inaugurated an ILO-supported centre that will help street-based child labourers in the Ouzai suburb of the capital Beirut. The centre, to be operated by the Lebanese NGO Beyond Association, is technically and financially supported by an ILO project funded by the Norwegian government. The centre will provide a variety of practical support services to local and refugee child labourers involved in street work. Such work includes begging, street-based trade and services, and forms of illicit activities…The centre will provide educational, counselling and other services to child labourers, as well as to children withdrawn from child labour and those at risk of entering child labour. Ouzai is one of the most disadvantaged of Beirut’s suburbs, and is host to large numbers of refugees…

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Company non-response
11 September 2017

Fleifel did not respond to allegations re denying wages of migrant workers

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Fleifel to respond to allegations re failure to pay the salaries and allowances of migrant workers. Fleifel did not respond.

Article
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Author: أيوب، لبنان

"مصانع فليفل ضحية للابتزاز"، 27 أغسطس 2017

...مصانع أبناء خضر فليفل أحدث ضحايا الانكشاف البيروتي، فهذه المصانع التي لطالما كانت فخر الصناعة اللبنانية في الداخل والخارج، والتي ارتبط اسمها باسم كل المؤسسات عبر تجهيزاتها المكتبية تتعرض منذ فترة لما يشبه حملة التهجير أو الابتزاز مما استدعى تدخل أجهزة أمنية ووزارات معنية لمنع التعدي على المصنع ومسار العمل فيه... تجمع صناعيي الشويفات وجوارها وبعدما وصل الأمر إلى حده أصدر بياناً كشف فيه كل التفاصيل مؤكداً وقوف التجمع إلى جانب مصانع أبناء خضر فليفل للمصنوعات الخشبية في الشويفات في وجه كل محاولات تعطيل أعمال المصنع من قبل بعض العمال السوريون واللبنانيين فيه من خلال الإضرابات الاستفزازية المتكررة دون أي مسوغ قانوني في ظل احترام مصانع فليفل لكافة نتائج الوساطات وما اتبعها من اتفاقيات مبرمة ومنفذة مع كل العمال في المصنع المذكور برعاية كريمة من وزارة العمل اللبنانية التي اتبعت بدفع المصنع جميع مستحقات العمال الواجبة لهم وللضمان الاجتماعي وهي موثقة بالمستندات الدامغة لغاية تاريخ اليوم...

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