New report: economic and social crises in Jordan threaten citizens’ rights and freedoms


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Geneva – The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory said in a report released today that the crises Jordanians have experienced in recent years have reflected on the exercise of their economic and social rights, including the right dignity, work, health, education, water, and union building.

Entitled “Jordan … Epidemic Decline of Economic and Social Rights”, the report reviews the difficult conditions that have occurred in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in recent years due to the decline in economic activity, exacerbation of the repercussions of the coronavirus, the decline in financial aid granted to refugees in the kingdom, suspicions of corruption and tax evasion, and the increase in public debt.

The report was based – in addition to research and documentation efforts – on questionnaires targeting random samples and dozens of field interviews conducted by Euro-Med Monitor’s field team in Jordan from June 2020 to end of August 2021. The questionnaires included citizens whose economic conditions hindered the exercise of their fundamental rights and provided detailed information on the causes and impact of the crises on the living conditions of Jordanians, as well as on the policies of the state to deal with these crises.

Although Jordan suffers from several crises, such as the dissolution of unions, water crises, the health sector and societal violence, the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic have contributed to the disruption of economic activity. in the Kingdom, which had the greatest negative impact on the lives of Jordanians.

In 2020, trade disruptions and the unprecedented drop in international tourism rates caused the contraction rate of the Jordanian economy to reach 1.6%, which is the Kingdom’s first economic contraction in three decades.

The report also pointed out that these crises have pushed unemployment up to 25% this year, and among young people (19-25 years old) it has fallen from 40.6% in 2019 to an unprecedented rate of 50% at the end of the last quarter of 2020.

With reference to the health sector crisis, the report shows that Jordan suffers from a shortage of medical personnel in most of its public hospitals, which has resulted in a decline in the level of medical services provided to patients and recurrence of deaths in hospitals due to poor patient service. Perhaps the most striking example of this is the incident at Salt Hospital in March 2021, when seven COVID-19 patients died after the hospital they were in ran out of oxygen.

The report treated the union crisis as one of the crises the Kingdom has faced over the past two years, as the government shut down the Jordanian Teachers Union (JTS) on July 25, 2020, after teachers protested against the non-payment of a financial bonus for them in view of the suffocating economic crisis that the country is going through. The feud between the government and JTS is still ongoing.

Euro-Med Observatory legal researcher Omar Al-Ajlouni said: “The Jordanian government is obligated under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to guarantee individuals the right to to a decent standard of living sufficient to ensure the health and well-being of themselves and their families, especially in terms of food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services.

The Jordanian authorities should develop a national policy to deal effectively with these crises, in particular those related to poverty, unemployment and the societal violence that result from them, and put an end to the violations which limit the freedom of trade union work for the institutions. and activists.

The international community should call on the Jordanian authorities to respect their international commitments in terms of respect for the economic and social rights of their citizens and provide them with support through international organizations such as UNICEF, FAO and the International Organization. of work, through development projects to reduce poverty, unemployment and child labor.

Full report in English

Full report in Arabic

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