Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Migrant staff 'abused' in Jordan

Bruised arm of a female domestic worker in Jordan (Pic: Amnesty)
Amnesty International said this domestic worker was beaten

Migrant domestic workers in Jordan face physical abuse, long hours and poor conditions, human rights group Amnesty International has said in a report.

It said some of the women were forced to work 19 hours a day and had pay denied by employers who beat them.

In one case, a Filipina woman was beaten in a locked room by a man her employer's family had asked to carry out the attack.

Jordan is considering laws defining employment conditions.

This includes working hours and rest time for domestic workers.

Amnesty called for better legal protection and shelter for those fleeing abuse or exploitation.

Shelters already exist at the embassies of Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka - where most of the country's 40,000 registered women migrant domestic workers come from.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa deputy programme director Philip Luther said: "We call on the Jordanian authorities to seize this golden opportunity to make the exploitative conditions currently faced by migrant domestic workers a thing of the past.

"Their actions should be bold enough to match the scale of the abuses."

The Jordanian parliament is considering legislation defining employment terms for domestic migrant workers, including working hours and rest time.

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