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...