Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Jordan rights group urges reform

Bruised arm of a female domestic worker in Jordan (Pic: Amnesty)
There is little protection for women migrant domestic workers in Jordan

A Jordanian human rights group has accused the government of failing to protect women migrant domestic workers.

The National Centre for Human Rights said in one case, a woman was forced to work for seven years without pay.

The group's statement comes a week after Amnesty International highlighted the exploitation suffered by female migrant workers in the country.

Most of Jordan's 40,000 registered women workers come from South and South East Asia.

The Jordanian rights group, which was founded four years ago, has echoed Amnesty's findings that many of them suffer physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their employers.

It said employers accuse migrant workers of committing crimes, so they can deport them without paying their salaries.

In a statement, it criticised the government for failing to "improve its laws in line with international treaties or find mechanisms to protect" the women workers. It has called for reform of the country's labour laws.

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

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

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