The Jordan Times had an interesting article yesterday here that talks about the Domestic Helpers Recruitment Agencies Association’s (DHRAA) dissatisfaction with the current situation in Jordan. Since the Philippines and Indonesia have banned their nationals from coming, the recruiters for these countries are facing serious problems. For some, the families have already paid and are expecting a helper. These two countries seem to have the lion’s share of domestic workers in Jordan.
Unfortunately, the response from the DHRAA has been exactly what I would not want. They are trying to get the Ministry to actively open other countries to provide workers. So, it seems that if you get banned for mistreatment and non-payment the best response is to find more desperate poverty-ridden countries to send laborers. I shudder to think that, instead of proactive work to resolve abuses the Association would simply try to find people more willing to live with it. Oh, for an association that encourages self-improvement.
My personal view on this is that Jordan needs to more closely monitor the situation of these guest workers. Home visits, contracts signed and administered by the Ministry of Labor, and awareness campaigns would go a long way to making Jordan a more attractive destination for guest workers. Basically, set some standards, remove workers who are being abused, and ban abusive employers from receiving workers for a period of time. Each of these steps would help change for the better. Sweeping the issues under the rug won’t help anyone at all. Sigh. It is amazing to have in-home help so affordable and helpful. Many moms depend on this to be able to go out to work and increase the family income. So, after all, let’s do it the right way.
Happy Spring Cleaning!