ILO response to Syria refugee crisis

ILO online learning programme introduces Syrian refugees to their workplace rights in Jordan

The programme is part of on-going efforts by the ILO to help formalize the work of Syrian refugees in Jordan.

News | 02 May 2017
AMMAN, JORDAN (ILO News) The ILO has launched an e-learning programme for Syrian refugees in Jordan that explains their rights and responsibilities under the country’s labour law.

The online programme is part of on-going efforts by the ILO to help formalise the work of Syrian refugees in Jordan. It outlines the benefits of working legally through obtaining work permits, as well as the procedures needed to obtain them.

Developed with the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Corporation, the programme was designed by Knowledge Horizon, which specialised in e-training programmes. It consists of video segments and other training material, covering work permits, workers' rights, sectors open to non-Jordanian workers, Social Security and Occupational Safety and Health.

“Helping Syrian refugees become formally employed is an important step towards protecting workers and improving their conditions at work,” said Maha Kattaa, coordinator for the ILO Syrian Refugee Response in Jordan. “We have therefore designed a free, easy-to-use programme, which is accessible through smartphone devices, to encourage more Syrian workers to apply for work permits.”

The programme will initially be used by 500 Syrians in Irbid, Mafraq, Zarqa, Amman, working in the construction sector; as well as the agricultural sector, where are large number of workers are women. It will be expanded to reach more workers in other sectors.

“The programme offers guidance on how to apply for a work permit. It also outlines the rights and benefits workers are entitled to, including those related to Social Security,” said Jamal, one of the Syrian workers who took part in testing the programme. “I think it is a good programme. It is pretty simple and straight forward to use.”

The programme is part of an ILO UK-funded project, aimed at helping Syrian workers in the construction and agricultural sectors develop skills and obtain work permits, while improving job prospects for Jordanians in local communities hosting the refugees.

The number of Syrian refugees stands at approximately 1.3 million according to the Government of Jordan, including 657,000 registered with UNHCR, with a vast majority living in urban areas.

Efforts by the government with the support of the international community, in which ILO played a key role, have resulted in thousands of Syria refugees obtaining work permits.

Over recent years, the ILO has launched a number of activities targeting both men and women in refugee and host communities across Jordan. These include advocating for the government to facilitate Syrian refugees’ access to work and livelihoods through giving them work permits in specified sectors in line with Jordanian labour regulations and enhancing employment opportunities and livelihoods in Jordanian communities hosting Syrian refugees.

The ILO’s Syria refugee response is part of the agency’s Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) in Jordan, aimed at reducing Decent Work deficits and strengthening national capacity to mainstream Decent Work in social and economic policies.