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A critical juncture: Syrian refugees and migrant workers in Jordan

...Eager to stem the movement of refugees into European countries, EU governments have committed to invest in Jordan to stimulate job-creation...

There are still many important unanswered questions:

  • Will all the promised investment for jobs from governments come through, and into what industries?
  • What kind of jobs will be created?  Decent jobs with a living wage, or temporary, poorly-paid exploitative work limited to sectors that others shun?
  • How will initiatives to create employment for Syrian refugees also take into account the needs of the Jordanian workforce (with a current unemployment rate of 14%), and of the significant existing migrant worker populations in Jordan?  Currently 70% of Jordan’s agricultural workers are Egyptian for example, as are many in the service sector.
  • Will these jobs help to keep Syrian children out of the workplace?  Many are now working in hazardous conditions to earn income for their families - UNICEF estimates that one in ten Syrian refugees in the region is engaged in child labour...

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