In late 2014, a court in Amman ruled that an Egyptian guest worker whose permit had been terminated by his employer was wrongfully placed in immigration detention and must be compensated for financial and psychological damages. The historic ruling was described by one observer as a “first of its kind” for the entire Middle East region. Several months earlier, a riot broke out at Jordan’s Zaatri refugee camp after police arrested a group of people who were attempting to leave the camp without authorization. The riot, which led to violent clashes with police and left one Syrian refugee dead, was the latest in a series of incidents at the camp, where refugees have protested terrible living conditions. With one of the world’s largest foreign-born populations and as host to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, Jordan faces enormous migratory and humanitarian pressures. UNHCR has lauded the country’s efforts to accommodate refugees and the recent guest-worker legal victory signals some level of commitment to international human rights standards. However, enormous hurdles remain, particularly with respect to the treatment of the country’s foreign-born workers who continue to face systematic abuse of their rights, including in some cases deprivation of liberty at the hands of their employers. Jordan’s pivotal role in the regional migration phenomenon has not gone unnoticed in Brussels, where officials at the European Commission have lauded the recent establishment of a mobility agreement between the EU and Jordan that is aimed in part at easing the return of undocumented migrants from EU countries back to Jordan. Read report.
STAFF PUBLICATIONS & ACTIVITIES
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: At the request of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the GDP submitted a list of final edits and additions for the “draft basic principles and guidelines on remedies and procedures on the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty by arrest or detention to bring proceedings before court, in order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his or her detention and order his or her release if the detention is not lawful.” Read the submission here. This intervention follows on the GDP’s previous submission from January 2014, which were provided as part of a thematic study undertaken by the WGAD in preparation for the drafting of the basic principles and guidelines. Read the January 2014 submission.
UN Convention on Migrant Workers: In March the GDP provided submissions related to Articles 16 and 17 of the ICMW to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers for the List of Issues Prior to Reporting for Honduras and Nicaragua, to be adopted at the Committee’s 22 session in April 2015.
“Sri Lanka’s Unfinished Business.” By Jeff Crisp. Refugees International. 4 March 2015. Read.
“Sketching Detention: Jay’s Story.” By Mary Bosworth. Border Criminologies. 23 March 2015.Read.
Association for the Prevention of Torture. The APT recently launched a new Detention Focus database providing detailed information on prison and detention practices around the world.
“Children Deprived of Liberty, a Global Perspective.” Defense of Children International organized a side event at the 28th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in March on the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.