Child labour in Jordan
Jordan hosts over 661,000 registered Syrian refugees (51% children), in addition to 63,000 Iraqi refugees (33.2% children) and a population of over 2.1 million long-staying registered Palestinian refugees. The country has high unemployment rates (18.6%) especially among young people. As a result, families resort to negative coping strategies, such as withdrawing children from school, sending children to work, or forcing girls into early marriages. The number of child labourers has more than doubled between 2007 and 2016. The worsening of the economic situation as a result of the large influx of refugees is one of the main drivers. In addition, children as young as six years, often from disadvantaged communities such as Khreabet Al Souq, are exploited through begging at various traffic intersections in Jordan. Around 3,000 child beggars were identified and apprehended in 2017.
Where do we work
The interventions will be mainly carried out at national level, and in East Amman and Za’atari Camp. The Za’atari Camp is a refugee settlement 10 km away from Amman the capital, located in Mafraq governorate. It is considered a permanent settlement and the largest refugee camp for Syrians in the world.
Agriculture and small businesses are the main sectors we will focus on. Specific attention will be given to agricultural products, food manufacturing and retail, as these are the main areas where children are engaged in labour. Children in Za’atari camp mainly work in the agricultural sector. Children in East Amman mainly work in workshops, factories, sidewalk cafeterias, and begging. They work long hours for very limited payments, and often in abusive situations.
Domestic work is more common amongst girls and much more hidden; they work long and tiring hours and are denied fundamental rights such as access to education and health care, the right to rest, leisure, play and recreation.