HIRC holds event on migrant worker advocacy in Jordan

On December 1, HIRC and a diverse group of campus organizations hosted an event with Mervat Jumhawee, Advocacy Officer from the El Hassan Workers’ Center in Jordan. Students and staff gathered for a discussion on the intersection of trade agreements, labor migration corridors, and different social change.

Mervat Event Photo 1
From left to right, JJ Rosenbaum, Mervat Jumhawee, and Salma Waheedi.

Founded in 2012, the El Hassan Workers’ Center has a mission of working with multiple stakeholders to connect workers with health and recreational services; empower workers with knowledge about their legal rights; and equip them with tools and resources to organize and advocate for those rights.

The garment industry in Jordan’s free trade zones represents 19% of Jordan’s total exports, employing more than 65,000 workers annually and exceeding $1.6 billion. Seventy-five percent of the majority women workers in the free trade zones are foreign workers on temporary visas from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, and other countries.

A huge thank you to JJ Rosenbaum, Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, for moderating the event, and Salma Waheedi, Clinical Instructor for the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, for interpreting for Ms. Jumhawee. We would also to thank all the co-sponsors for this event: Harvard Immigration Project, Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights, Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change, Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, Middle East Law Students Association, and the Harvard Women’s Law Association.