Number of work permits for Syrian refugees has doubled — UNHCR

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The recent increase in the number of work permits for Syrian refugees in Jordan is in large part attributable to the government’s 2021 decision to introduce flexible work permits, the UNHCR said in a statement carried by Al-Ghad News.اضافة اعلان

More than 62,000 work permits were issued last year, compared to approximately 36,000 in 2020, according to the UNHCR.

Last year, the Ministry of Labor signed an agreement with the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, which introduced flexible work permits that grant refugees the right to work without being associated with a specific employer; this allowed them to move between jobs more easily.

Since the 2016 London conference to support Syrian refugees, the government has issued some 252,000 permits — including 9,500 flexible permits — to Syrian refugees, according to Syrian Crisis Response Department Director Hamdan Yaqoub.

Linda Al-Kalash, the director of Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights, praised the rise in the number of work permits granted to Syrians, but also underlined that the rights of some refugees have been violated in regards to wages and increased working hours.

A recent report issued by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Fafo Institute for Labor and Social Research, which studies the changes that have taken place in Jordan since 2016, showed that the working conditions of Syrian holders of valid work permits are better than those of those without such permits.

The report also showed that Syrians’ current working conditions are closer to the Jordanian counterpart’s conditions.

ILO Country Coordinator for Jordan Frida Khan stressed that by obtaining a work permit greatly increases the chances of a Syrian refugee’s working conditions improving.

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