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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                          

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Jordan is a small Arab country with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation are fundamental problems, but King Abdallah II, since assuming the throne in 1999, has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Jordan

Jordan is a destination and transit country for women and men from South and Southeast Asia for the purpose of forced labor. There were some reports of women from Morocco and Tunisia being subjected to forced prostitution after arriving in Jordan to work in restaurants and night clubs. Women from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines migrate willingly to work as domestic servants, but some are subjected to conditions of forced labor, including unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. During the reporting period, the Government of the Philippines continued to enforce a ban on new Filipina workers migrating to Jordan for domestic work because of a high rate of abuse of Filipina domestic workers by employers in Jordan. At the end of the reporting period, an estimated 600 Filipina, Indonesian, and Sri Lankan foreign domestic workers were sheltered at their respective embassies in Amman; most of whom fled some form of forced labor. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Jordan.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Embassies urge greater policing of agencies that traffic migrant workers

Jordan Times, Amman Jordan, January 22, 2001

[accessed 16 February 2011]

Since 1996, the Philippine government limits employment of nationals within Jordan to specific employers; members of the Royal family, senior government employees, members of diplomatic missions and UN personnel.  However, workers circumvent these restrictions by falsifying their travel status and end up working in private homes without regulation or protection.  Because so many choose or are tricked into unregulated work environments, they are subject to abuse and exploitation.


*** ARCHIVES ***

14 human trafficking cases confirmed in Jordan since the start of 2020

Roya News, 26 November 2020

[Long URL]

[accessed 27 November 2020]

Since the beginning of this year, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit has confirmed 14 human trafficking cases in Jordan ...

Hamaydeh added that most of the human trafficking victims were domestic workers.

Many of the cases dealt with are sexual exploitation, organ removal, and forced labor.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Jordan

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 13 June 13, 2021]


A 2019 study by the Global Alliance against Trafficking in Women found that female Bangladeshi garment workers in the country suffered physical, verbal, and psychological abuse and were provided crowded, bedbug-infested living conditions and unsanitary food. Forced labor or conditions indicative of forced labor also occurred among migrant workers in the domestic work and agricultural sectors. Activists highlighted the vulnerability of agricultural workers due to minimal government oversight. Activists also identified domestic workers, most of whom were foreign workers, as particularly vulnerable to exploitation due to inadequate government oversight, social norms that excused forced labor, and workers’ isolation within individual homes. Activists further noted cases where domestic workers who used an employer’s phone to complain to a Ministry of Labor hotline sometimes experienced retaliation when the hotline returned the call to their employers.


Children continue to be engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including street work and dangerous tasks in agriculture. Despite government measures, Syrian children still face barriers to education due to socioeconomic pressures, bullying, and costs associated with transportation and supplies.

Refugee children worked in the informal sector, sold goods in the streets, worked in the agricultural sector, and begged in urban areas. In 2019 NGOs reported that when government inspectors withdrew Syrian refugee children from child labor, inspectors often took the children to the Azraq refugee camp, even when their families lived in distant urban centers or the Za’atari refugee camp, separating families for days, weeks, or months. NGOs report the reception center has since been shut down and they are aware of a very small number of cases of refugee children engaged in child labor still being sent to Azraq camp.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Migrant workers are especially vulnerable to exploitative labor practices. Labor rights organizations have raised concerns about poor working conditions, forced labor, and sexual abuse in Qualifying Industrial Zones, where mostly female and foreign factory workers process goods for export. Rules governing matters such as the minimum wage, working hours, and safety standards are not well enforced, particularly in certain sectors like agriculture and construction, and among migrant workers. The influx of Syrian refugees has exacerbated the situation by expanding the pool of laborers willing to work in the informal sector for low wages. According to official data from 2016, the number of child laborers in the country had doubled since 2007.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 18 April 2019]

[accessed 30 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 552]

Children in Jordan engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in street work and other hazardous activities in the service sector. (1; 2; 3; 4) Children also perform dangerous tasks in agriculture. (5; 6; 7) Based on the 2016 National Child Labor Survey, approximately 70,000 children ages 5 to 17 are engaged in child labor, most commonly in agriculture and retail trade. Approximately 80 percent of child laborers are Jordanian and about 15 percent are Syrian. (6) Boys constitute nearly 90 percent of those involved in child labor. (6).

Investigate Human Trafficking in Jordan, Send Home the Victims Before Christmas

Janess Ann J. Ellao,, Manila, October 9, 2010

[accessed 16 February 2011]

Sometime in May 2009, Nheljean said they got a phone call from her sister, telling them her employer was beating her up and had even pointed a gun at her. She ran away and was taken under custody of her recruitment agency in Jordan. Her second employer, however, also maltreated her. So she ran away again.

But the harsh conditions she had to live with in the custody of the recruitment agency, for instance the insufficient food and chance to change her clothes, even, had pushed her to escape from its custody. Jean reportedly escaped by sliding down a pipe from the fifth floor of her agency’s building. This time, she went to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Association office to seek help. Jean wanted to go home.

Going home, however, is easier said than done. Upon arriving at POLO-OWWA office in Amman, Jordan, Jean was told she has to pay $1,000 for her deployment cost first. “This is already discounted,” Jeans was told by a Welfare Officer.

Hearing :: Combating Trafficking for Forced Labor Purposes in the OSCE Region

United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, (Helsinki Commission), October 11, 2007


[accessed 7 September 2011]

[accessed 19 September 2016]

For example, a contract labor agency in Bangladesh advertised work at a garment factory in Jordan. The ad promised a 3-year contract, $425 per month, 8 hour workdays, 6 days a week, paid overtime, free accommodations, free medical care, free food, and no advance fees. Instead, upon arrival, workers (who were obliged to pay exorbitant advance fees) had passports confiscated, were confined to miserable conditions, and were prevented from leaving the factory. Months passed without pay, food was inadequate, and sick workers were tortured. Because most workers had borrowed money at inflated rates to get the contracts, they were obliged through debt to stay. The sad truth is that we find workers across the globe holding on to the thin hope that they will eventually get paid, or that conditions will improve, because if they leave, there is no hope that they will be able to repay the debt.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children - Middle East/North Africa region

based on the situation analysis written by Dr Najat M’jid for the Arab-African Forum against Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Rabat, Morocco, 24-26 October 2001

[accessed 16 February 2011]

[accessed 30 April 2020]

FORM AND PREVALENCE OF CSEC IN THE REGION - Early marriage is common in some of the countries of the region.  This practice is considered to increase children’s vulnerability to CSEC because it legitimizes early sexual activity. Between 1995 and 2000, a United Nations Population Fund report on young married women between the ages of 15 and 19 showed that, of this age group … in Jordan 9 per cent of girls aged 15-19 are married (legal age of marriage is 17

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Jordan

[accessed 16 February 2011]


CASE - Rania Arafat, 21, was shot four times in the back of the head by her 17-year-old brother for refusing an arranged marriage to her cousin and eloping with her boyfriend, and thereby bringing shame on the family. ("Dishonor, Then Death," World Press Review, February 1998).

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, September 29, 2006$FILE/G0645032.doc

[accessed 16 February 2011]

[92] The Committee regrets the lack of data on the extent and magnitude of commercial sexual exploitation of children and trafficking in children for exploitative purposes in the State party. It also regrets the insufficient legal protection of boys below the age of 18 against commercial sexual exploitation and the absence of a specific legal framework to protect children from trafficking.

[86] While noting the high number of migrant workers in the State party, and particularly the estimated  number of undocumented workers and the weak protection against exploitation and abuse provided to them, the Committee is concerned at the situation and vulnerability of their children residing in Jordan.

[88] The Committee commends the State party for its cooperation with ILO/IPEC, including for signing the Memorandum of Understanding with ILO for the implementation of IPEC Country Programme. It welcomes the various measures taken to address the issue of child labour in Jordan, including the 2002 amendment of the Labour Code provision on the minimum age for employment of children working in hazardous occupations which raised the minimum age to 18 years. Despite these positive measures, the Committee remains concerned about the prevalence of child labour in the State party. It notes with particular concern information that the employment of children has steadily grown in recent years, especially in agriculture. The Committee is further concerned that the protection provided by the Labour Code does not apply for children working in the informal sector (for example, in small family enterprises, agriculture and domestic labour).

The Protection Project - Jordan

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

[accessed 13 February 2019]

A Human Rights Report on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - The purpose of trafficking in Jordan is primarily for forced labor. It has been noted that young children arrive in Jordan to work as maids. There are reportedly thousands of female migrant workers in Jordan, some laboring under forced and abusive conditions.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 16 February 2011]


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The law prohibits trafficking in children; however, it does not specifically prohibit trafficking in other persons. Other criminal statutes prohibit slavery and indentured servitude. In October Western media reported the August 2004 killing of 12 Nepali migrant workers in Iraq. According to the reports, an employment agency in Nepal colluded with Morning Star, a recruiting agency in Amman, to bring the men through Jordan to Iraq to work. Several of the men were told that they would be working for a hotel in Amman, but instead they were taken to Iraq, where they were captured and killed by insurgents. The government subsequently closed Morning Star.

In 2004 to reduce the potential for abuse of foreign domestic workers (FDWs), the government adopted new and stricter procedures that regulate the importation of such labor (see section 6.e.). While these changes improved the legal framework to protect FDWs, lack of awareness among employers and employees remained a problem. The government has undertaken a cooperative program with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to raise the awareness of FDWs on the new protections afforded them. The Ministry of Labor (MOL) regularly visits the employment agencies that hire and import FDWs to ensure compliance with the law.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 16 February 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - Compulsory labor is prohibited by the Constitution of Jordan.  While the law does not specifically prohibit forced or bonded labor by children, such practices are not known to occur.  A Jordanian law specifically prohibits trafficking in children, and there is no indication that children were trafficked, to, from, or within the country.

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