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Jordan: Efforts to formalise the work of Syrian waste pickers and the dangers of informality

Broken glass and needles: the waste pickers scraping a living at Jordan's landfills, 27 August 2016

While the Jordanian government has gone some way towards easing restrictions on employment for Syrian refugees, the vast majority are still working illegally. Now, a number of organisations in Jordan are looking to formalise the work of waste pickers and harness their role as recyclers...

For the waste pickers at Al Huseyniyat, and others working on streets around Jordan, this would mean stable employment and safer working conditions. At present, children, many of whom look younger than their stated age of 14, face the same dangers as adults in this toxic environment. A few wear cotton gloves found in the rubbish, but most go through the bags with bare hands, exposed to broken glass and needles hidden among the coloured cans, wrappers and rotting organic waste.

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