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Steps taken to attain world-class labor standards - Minister of Labor
Oct '09
Jordan's Minister of Labor, Dr. Gazi Shbaikat, presented a new comprehensive Progress Report on Jordan's strategic plan for labor compliance at a briefing in the U.S. Congress hosted by the Democratic Leadership Council and the Embassy of Jordan. The First Progress Report on Labor Administration and Compliance in Jordan highlights the diligent efforts that the Government of Jordan has made towards meeting its international obligations, including those under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, and outlines the Government's tremendous progress in labor reform since its 2008 report.

“We hope this progress report will shed light into the steps Jordan has taken to reform labor administration reform and to strengthen labor compliance,” said Minister Shbaikat. “We are fully committed to build on these steps to further improve labor conditions in Jordan, despite the challenges ahead. It is a win-win situation for all; the Government, the workers, the employers and investors alike.”

The Government's First Progress Report details the various initiatives undertaken by Jordan since the government's 2008 report on labor administration and compliance, which outlines the tripartite strategy Jordan has put in place that includes: improving working conditions through enforcement and compliance assistance, enhancing institutional capacity and increasing employment opportunities. The First Progress report presented today provides updates on reforms of the labor inspectorate, amendments to the 1996 Labor Code to provide protections to guest workers, enactment of a new anti-trafficking law, implementation of the Better Work Jordan Project, and revisions of the monitoring and compliance mechanisms used by the Ministry of Labor.

In his remarks today, Minister Shbaikat highlighted progress made in implementing the Better Work Jordan Project, which the Ministry of Labor has undertaken in coordination with the International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation. The BWJ combines independent factory monitoring assessments with training and remediation to improve working conditions and enhance the global competitiveness of participating factories. “As the first country to undertake the BWJ after Cambodia, Jordan's implementation of the BWJ is truly representative of its commitment to transparency and accountability,” the Minister said.

The Minister also shared the First Progress Report and stressed Jordan's commitment to continuing the labor reform process with U.S. officials at the U.S. Department of Labor and State as well as with Members of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, Minister Shbaikat met with representatives of the U.S. apparel companies and trade associations in New York and Washington, DC to further emphasize the Ministry's progress in attaining global labor standards during the last three years and underline Jordan's political will and commitment to continue the labor reform process.

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