ARDD Addresses the Protection of Migrant and Refugee Workers through Policy Briefs and a High-Level Conference

Participants of the Conference with the presence of HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal
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Participants of the Conference with the presence of HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal

In 2021 and 2022, Arab Renaissance of Democracy and Development (ARDD) carried out the project “Haquna” (“Our Right”) in cooperation with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung - Palestine and Jordan. The goal of the project has been to contribute to the empowerment, protection and advancement of migrant workers’ rights in Jordan.

Migrant Worker Commitee

In 2021, ARDD established the Migrant Worker Committee (MWC). The MWC was established to constitute a vibrant platform in which migrant workers advocate for their rights, enhance migrant workers’ awareness of their legal rights and available referral mechanisms (especially for those without social protection), and to act as a network for migrant workers to offer support to one another. Moreover, it has enabled migrants and refugees to voice their needs and gain knowledge to access and protect their rights. The MWC, which is unique to Jordan, consists of 32 members (13 male and 19 female) representing nine different nationalities (Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Philippines, and Tunisia).

Policy Papers

The MWC attended four sessions organized by ARDD in 2022, during which the committee discussed the most pressing issues that affect the daily lives of migrant and refugee workers. These issues were addressed through four policy briefs on 1) Legal aid access for migrant workers and refugees; 2) Labor rights framework; 3) Access to basic services; and 4) Durable solutions for migrant workers and refugees.

Ms. Francesca Albanese, Senior Advisor in the Migration, Forced Displacement and Statelessness Program at ARDD, briefly presented these policy briefs at a public online event held by ARDD on 9 November 2022. The policy briefs are available in English and Arabic and entail action points and recommendations to scale-up grassroots strategies for migrant workers and refugees to access their rights.

ARDD Addresses the Protection of Migrant and Refugee Workers through Policy Briefs and a High-Level Conference
Online event held by ARDD to present and discuss the policy briefs.

High-level Conference

On 29 October 2022, HRH Prince Hassan Bin Talal opened ARDD’s two-day conference under the title “Refugees and Migrants in the Arab Region: Long Shades of Discrimination”. The conference served as the first regional conference of the Migration and Refugee Forum for the Arab World (MARFA) and brought together civil society actors and stakeholders, internationals organizations and embassies to discuss the topic of discrimination. At the center of debates was the topic of discrimination towards migrant workers and refugees in the MENA region. 

“Migrant issues should be addressed from multifaceted perspectives as only then living conditions could be improved”, said Prince Hassan.

Through presentations and debates, the conference shed light on the different patterns of discrimination practiced against migrants and refugees in the region. It also discussed the role of local and international stakeholders in addressing the issue of discrimination and providing recommendations to overcome these challenges.

On the first day of the conference, numerous regional speakers presented their research and findings on the status of migrants and refugees from different countries in the region. On the second day, MARFA members discussed the role of the recently established network in contributing to a human rights-based approach that guarantees protection of migrants and refugees in the region. Additionally, they discussed the legal challenges and obstacles facing them in their countries and formulated a way forward to sustain and develop the MARFA network to overcome these challenges.

Furthermore, drafts of the policy briefs developed by the MWC were presented and discussed during the second day of the conference. In this regard, MARFA members called for the establishment of similar com­mittees and networks in the MENA region. They asserted that regional scope would not only benefit migrants and refugees in the host country but also enable them to keep supporting their communities in Jordan. Such committees and bodies could also serve as platforms for migrants and refugees to share their experiences with their communities to better inform them before they migrate to other countries.

Find below the full texts of all four policy briefs.