Jordan (Tier 2)
Jordan is a destination and transit country for women and men from South and Southeast Asia trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines travel legally to Jordan to work as domestic servants, but are sometimes subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, including restrictions on movement, and physical and sexual abuse. Chinese and South Asian men and women sometimes face similar conditions of restricted movement, non-payment of wages, long hours, and withholding of passports while working in factories in Jordan. Additionally, late in the reporting period credible but unverified information was received alleging lack of access to food, water, and medical care, and physical and sexual abuse of foreign workers in some textile and apparel factories. In addition, Jordan is a transit country for South Asian men who are deceived with fraudulent job offers in Jordan, but are instead trafficked to work involuntarily in Iraq.
The Government of Jordan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2005, the government took measures to stem the flow of trafficking victims through Jordan by banning the transit of workers unless accompanied by their sponsors. Jordan also signed separate memoranda of understanding with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines to streamline the process by which workers gain employment in Jordan and to guarantee their rights. Jordan should increase its trafficking prosecutions, seriously investigate allegations of trafficking of workers through Jordan to Iraq, and build a shelter for trafficking victims with adequate protective services. The government should also improve enforcement and monitoring of its labor laws in factories employing foreign guest workers and investigate allegations of involuntary servitude within these factories.
During the year, Jordan took minimal steps to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses. Jordanian law prohibits the trafficking of children, but does not specifically criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons. Although other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses, the government failed to charge anyone with trafficking this year. Eight recruitment agencies received warnings for violations of workers' rights and another eight were closed in 2005, but five of those reopened within six months. Jordan supplied no evidence, however, that it is investigating cases of trafficking of workers through Jordan to Iraq for involuntary servitude. Jordanian police received training in identifying physical and sexual assault and anti-trafficking measures. Jordan should consider drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and should increase prosecutions of abusive employers and recruitment agencies, particularly those using fraud to traffic men into Iraq.
Jordan provided limited protection to victims of trafficking during the last year. The government neither operated a shelter for trafficking victims nor offered rehabilitative services to them. The government did, however, fund the operational expenses of the National Center for Human Rights – a quasi-independent organization – and gave in-kind support to UNIFEM and IOM for trafficking victim assistance. The government should build a shelter for trafficking victims that provides medical, psychological, and legal aid, and should ensure that victims are not detained as a result of reporting sexual assault.
In 2005, Jordan took modest measures to prevent trafficking in persons. With help from UNIFEM, the government produced a booklet for distribution to all foreign workers enumerating their rights and offering hotline numbers to call, but few copies were distributed. The government should also consider establishing a broad public awareness campaign to educate employers and recruitment agencies of the rights of foreign workers.