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45,000 Asian worker live in unsafe housing — Better Work-Jordan

1.Migrant workers
Migrant garment workers are seen having their lunch break in the canteen of one of Jordan's textile plants. (Photo: Flickr)
AMMAN — The annual report issued by Better Work-Jordan of the International Labor Organization revealed that 36 percent of the 88 factories covered by the program do not meet the minimum requirement for public space and safety in dwellings, where approximately 45,000 migrant workers, the majority of whom are Asians, live in 200-300 houses, according to Al-Ghad News.اضافة اعلان

At a meeting last week to discuss its annual report, the committee stressed the importance of improving the structural integrity of workers’ housing in the garment industry as a key element in the well-being, health and safety of employees, indicating that it would make upgrading workers' housing a priority.

In 2020, Better Work- Jordan, hired an engineering consulting firm to assist in the structural integrity of a sample of 14 housing blocks with more than 45,000 workers, in addition to identifying the required improvements as well as proposing instructions for future housing construction.  The consultants had identified several housing problems, and the program was working on a strategy to address them.

"Inspection teams noted irregularities in labor housing, including the use of premises not licensed by the Jordanian government," said the director of the Inspection Directorate of the Ministry of Labor, Haitham Al-Najdawi.

The meeting addressed a memorandum of understanding signed between Better Work-Jordan and the Jordan Chamber of Commerce with a view to cooperate to advance the performance and competitiveness of garment factories and to improve their compliance with the labor law and the International Labor Organization’s standards.

The discussions and decisions of the Advisory Project Committee have far-reaching implications for Jordan's garment industry, which has experienced significant growth in the past 10 years, with exports in 2020 amounting to some $1.6 billion, accounting for 22 percent of the country's total exports.

The annual report of the Better Work program identified several problems in a sample of buildings surveyed as part of the initial phase of the project, including the number of water tanks on top of the buildings (too heavy for buildings in addition to insufficient emergency exits).

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