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07 May 2020 – Jordan

Migrant workers in Jordan have been given a deadline to leave the country, as authorities announced that they would prioritise the employment of Jordanian citizens in the wake of the crisis. Having initiated a strict lock-down to control the virus, the country has started to loosen measures and businesses have now been given the green light to re-open. According to the country’s Labour Minister, at least 75 percent of employees of any business wishing to reopen would have to be Jordanian.

Jordan is currently home to up to 100,000 migrant workers, who largely work in the construction, agricultural, and catering industries. Many of them face enormous barriers to securing basic rights and are particularly vulnerable to arbitrary arrest and detention – including at the hands of their employers. According to authorities, they must leave the country by Saturday 9 May – and all fines and fees, including for undocumented migrants, will be waived if they depart within this time. With limited international transport, the feasibility of this remains unclear.