The Arab Migrant Resources Center launched a project that aims to promote the rights of 230,000 migrant workers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia.
The project was implemented with the support of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions and aims to guarantee the right of migrant workers to join trade unions in Jordan.
It focuses on the legislative constraints that migrant workers face when seeking representation and builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Arab Trade Union Confederation (ATUC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations TUC in 2015.
According to a press release issued by the organization, the MRC will continue to expand the initiative to other members of the League of Arab States following the implementation of the project in Jordan.
“Jordan was chosen to establish the joint MRC because the country hosts migrant workers both from South and Southeast Asian countries and its environment was considered to be more open when compared to other countries in the Arab region, but this is not the final goal for us,” ATUC Office Coordinator Hind Ben Ammar told The Jordan Times. ATUC seeks to assist Arab workers migrating to other countries in the region and Europe in the future as well, she added.
The ATUC is working with its affiliates across the region to get them to open up trade unions and give expatriate workers the right to be included in collective bargaining and social dialogue.
“Migrant workers are the missing piece of the Arab trade union movement,” said Ben Ammar. “This movement can’t be complete if we continue ignoring this workers’ category.”