Agencies warn of black market for runaway domestic workers, say protection needed

Jordan

Published: 2020-11-08 12:18

Last Updated: 2024-05-25 23:27


Agencies warn of black market for runaway domestic workers, say protection needed
Agencies warn of black market for runaway domestic workers, say protection needed

Domestic work agencies warned citizens about black market social media pages offering to 'lease' or 'sell' runaway workers of Asian and African nationalities. Domestic work agency owners threatened to sue anyone who engages in such human trafficking activities on social media platforms.

Agency owners believe the new laws, which have been recently approved by the Ministry of Labor, are the reason behind these activities. The new laws limit agency owners' abilities to deal with or follow-up on domestic workers after the three months of entering the country. This resulted in some homeowners 'selling' their employees to other people or 'leasing' them as day laborers through 'brokers.'

Agency owners called on the Minister of Labor Maen Al-Qatamin to intervene and protect domestic workers from the violations they face due to loopholes in the legislation. Agency owenr Lawrence Abu Zaid said the new system enabled people to commit human trafficking crimes, create a black market and employ domestic workers illegally, specifically runaways.

There are middlemen who help domestic workers escape their legal employers' homes for the purpose of employing them as day laborers and making profit. According to Abu Zaid, approximately 12,000 out 50,000 domestic workers in Jordan are runaways.

He stressed the danger of Paragraph (C) of Article (15) that aims to protect domestic workers from abuse, which only allows agency owners to intervene by allocating domestic workers to other employers. The law allows interventions if workers prove to have been physically assaulted by an official forensic report or do not get paid during the first three months of entering the country.

The law does not allow agency owners to intervene in cases involving other forms of assault such as sexual abuse, verbal abuse or freedom restrictions. Agency owners do not have the right to protect the employee, pursue legal action against the employer or inform the relevant authorities, which results in increasing numbers of runaways, suicides, murders and sexual assaults.

If not amended the system will constitute a burden on the Human Trafficking Department in the Public Security Directorate, said Abu Zaid.