There are an estimated 17,000 people living in modern slavery in Jordan (GSI 2018). Jordan is a source, transit and destination country for adults and children subjected to forced labour, domestic servitude and sex trafficking. People are trafficked primarily from South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Egypt and Syria. Forced labour victims experience withheld or non-payment wages, confiscation of identity documents, restricted freedom of movement, unsafe living conditions, long hours without rest, isolation, and verbal and physical abuse. Jordan relies on foreign migrant workers – many of whom are undocumented – in several sectors, including construction, agriculture, textiles, and domestic work.
Aja* travelled to Jordan for work after the death of her husband. After six months her wages were withheld and she was subjected to physical abuse by her employer.
I migrated to Dubai and worked there for six years, I was paid 20,000 taka [around £200] per month and they treated me very well. I returned to Bangladesh three years ago. My husband had a stroke and passed away. After his death my daughter and I had no means of living so I migrated again and this time I went to work in Jordan. The family I worked for was not very wealthy. Within six months, my new employer exploited me in many ways. On one occasion, the mother got angry and threw tea at me, burning my thighs and making me bleed. When I first started my new job, I was given a mobile phone and a month’s salary, but then my employer stopped paying me. I was told I would receive my salary after a year. In the fifth month, I was so frustrated that I took a taxi and went to the police. The police took me to the Bangladesh High Commission. They opened a case and called my employer. The employer gave false information, claiming that I was not doing my work properly. The Bangladesh High Commission housed me in some rooms and then brought me back to Bangladesh after three days.
Narrative provided by ICAI