Vulnerability at Work: Labor Rights as Human Rights


Vulnerability at Work
News by AUN News correspondent
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090


  • This news story discusses the recent tragedy and the relevance of workplace vulnerability.
  • The catastrophe killed nine Syrian and Jordanian agriculture laborers last month. Syrian refugee camp residents who worked outside the camp were casualties.
  • This tragic occurrence highlights the dangers of unsafe workplaces. Furthermore, it stresses the urgency of protecting vulnerable workers. Labor rights are fundamental human rights that guarantee fair treatment, safe working conditions, and appropriate recompense for workers.
  • Jordan, which hosts many Syrian refugees, has addressed labor protection loopholes. Regulation No. 19, the farm workers bylaw, protects agriculture employees, including Syrian refugees, under Labor Law provisions. Despite favorable legislation, successful implementation is difficult.
  • The text emphasizes collaboration between the government, employers, trade unions, civil society, and foreign partners. It emphasizes improving workplace safety and health, providing comprehensive training, raising understanding of employees’ rights, and fostering a culture of respect and dignity.
  • Vulnerability at work and worker well-being require these coordinated efforts.
  • Workplace vulnerability is urgent. Labor rights and worker protections can make workplaces safer and more fair. All stakeholders must collaborate to solve this problem and protect workers.

It is crucial to recognize that vulnerability at work is a crucial issue that links with the larger idea of human rights in today’s linked society. Labor rights, which include fair treatment, secure working conditions, and appropriate compensation, are crucial in protecting the inherent vulnerabilities that employees experience. Addressing and reducing these vulnerabilities allows us to safeguard individual employees’ rights and general welfare while also taking into account the effects on their families, employers, and local communities.

This essay is centered on a sad event that happened recently and serves as a sobering reminder of the essential need to address workplace vulnerability, especially in industries like agriculture. By shedding light on this particular incident, we hope to raise awareness of the larger problem and inspire discussion about the workplace policies and practices that lead to workers’ vulnerability. For the sake of promoting a more just and equitable society, it is essential to identify and address these vulnerabilities.

Through this investigation, we highlight the significance of labor rights as a key tenet of human rights. By emphasizing the idea of vulnerability at work, we draw attention to the injustices that might happen when employees are subjected to risky situations or are not treated fairly. By recognizing the connection between vulnerability and labor rights, we highlight the need for all-encompassing protections that address the complex issues faced by employees across industries.

The ultimate goal of this article is to increase awareness of vulnerability at work and motivate action. We can make workplaces safer and more egalitarian by putting employees’ rights and wellbeing first. This will enable people to succeed and give back to their communities. We may pave the way to a more just and compassionate society by having a comprehensive grasp of workplace vulnerability and a dedication to strong labor rights.

Introduction: The Tragedy That Unveils the Consequences of Hazardous Working Conditions

A heartbreaking occurrence that occurred just a month ago shocked the Syrian and Jordanian communities, leaving them in shock and despair. A pick-up truck carrying the hopes and dreams of agricultural laborers collided with an unthinkable catastrophe on a terrible day. The consequences of that tragic catastrophe, which claimed the lives of nine priceless people, including five strong Syrian women and three resolute Syrian men, were felt far beyond the boundaries of the Za’atari refugee camp.

These laborers left the camp’s boundaries in search of resources to meet their basic requirements as they struggled to make ends meet. They had no idea that their quest for a better life would subject them to dangerous working conditions—a terrible reality that played out right in front of our eyes. Their hopes were dashed, and their lives were taken from them in a moment, tearing their families apart and decimating their communities.

This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the critical need to address the dangers that vulnerable workers face on a daily basis. It says a lot about how ubiquitous the risks are in some industries, where safety precautions are frequently disregarded and workers’ lives are on the line. The people lost in this tragic occurrence serve as a sobering reminder of the countless others who braved similar dangers while fighting the odds in silence.

From Tragedy to Action: Empowering Advocacy for Safe and Fair Work

Their experiences inspire us to act—to protest the inequalities that permeate our labor systems and call for reform. It is a wake-up call that compels us to act as advocates for individuals who toil in perilous situations, frequently going undetected and unheard. Their efforts shouldn’t be in vain; rather, they should be seen as a rallying cry to put everyone’s safety and wellbeing first, no matter what.

Let this terrible event serve as a catalyst for change by becoming ingrained in our collective awareness. Let it stoke a fire of empathy and resolve inside us to transform the nature of work so that no employee faces such severe hazards. In order to press for comprehensive policies that ensure these workers’ safety, we must stand in solidarity with them, amplifying their voices.

We can either choose to ignore the difficult truths that lie in front of us when tragedy strikes, or we can face them. Let’s take the route of compassion, justice, and advancement. Together, we can create a future in which every worker enters the workplace feeling secure in the knowledge that their rights are upheld and their lives are cherished.

The catastrophe that occurred in front of us serves as a sobering lesson and a striking illustration of the negative effects that dangerous working circumstances can unleash. It is our responsibility to protect future workers from suffering a similar fate and to honor the lives lost. The time for change has come, and we must work together to shift the narrative so that workplaces become havens of safety, respect, and dignity for everyone.

The Importance of Labor Rights and Protection

Labor rights are essential human rights. They guarantee economic actors equitable treatment, safe workplaces, and fair pay. Imagine a society where employees’ dignity is trampled on, social justice is ignored, and sustainable growth is unattainable. It would be far from the inclusive, harmonious society we seek.

Labor rights safeguard workers’ well-being and prevent exploitation. Fair treatment helps workers grow personally and professionally. It empowers people to contribute to their communities and society.

These rights protect employees’ dignity. Respect and fairness acknowledge workers’ value. Their concerns and contributions are heard. This promotes respect and inclusion, encouraging workers to work hard and succeed.

Labor rights promote social justice. Their authority combats workplace injustice and prejudice. Labor rights remove impediments to progress and social divisions by guaranteeing equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and fair pay. They create a society that values skills, abilities, and dedication over gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Upholding employment rights affects society beyond employees. Economic prosperity, social stability, and environmental stewardship drive sustainable development. Safe working conditions and fair pay allow people to concentrate and innovate. This boosts economic growth and community well-being.

Labor rights also create an equitable society where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. We foster compassion, empathy, and fairness by defending the most vulnerable. Upholding labor rights challenges the status quo and seeks a world without birth or social status restrictions.

Labor rights represent our dedication to human dignity, social justice, and sustainable progress. These rights safeguard employees and create a fair, egalitarian, and prosperous society. Let’s keep fighting for worker rights to create a better, more equal world for future generations.

Jordan’s Role as a Host Country for Syrian Refugees

Jordan has made significant contributions as a host country, providing sanctuary for approximately 1.3 million Syrian refugees. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by this vulnerable population, Jordan has taken strides to bridge the gaps in labor protection. The adoption of Regulation No. 19 to the Labour Law in 2021, commonly known as the Agriculture Workers Bylaw, has extended the coverage of labor rights to agriculture workers. This is particularly significant as the agriculture sector heavily relies on non-national workers, including Syrian refugees, who often work as daily or seasonal laborers.

Regulation No. 19: The Agriculture Workers Bylaw

Regulation No. 19 is a milestone in addressing the specific needs of agriculture workers. One crucial provision, Article 11, mandates employers to comply with occupational safety and health conditions as instructed by the Ministry of Labour. However, despite the existence of supportive legislation, the effective implementation of these instructions remains a challenge. This gap between policy and practice undermines the realization of decent working conditions and exposes vulnerable workers to undue risks.

The Gap Between Legislation and Implementation

Although Jordan has recently implemented a number of work permit modalities to help Syrian refugees find official employment, there is still a gap between the law and its actual application. Compared to other non-national workers, Syrian refugees have easier access to the job market, but there is still a need for thorough and consistent enforcement. No matter their country or position, all workers’ rights and wellbeing must be appropriately protected; hence, strong processes must be put in place.

Facilitating Syrian Refugees’ Access to the Formal Labor Market

Jordan has implemented policies that ease the path for Syrian refugees to obtain work permits, including waived or relaxed procedures and reduced fees. Furthermore, Syrian refugees can obtain permits that grant them the flexibility to work for different employers on a seasonal or daily basis. These measures aim to provide economic opportunities for refugees and enhance their self-reliance. However, the potential risks associated with vulnerability at work cannot be ignored, necessitating ongoing efforts to strike a balance between facilitating access to employment and ensuring adequate protection.

Addressing Vulnerability at Work: A Multi-Faceted Approach

The fight against workplace vulnerability necessitates a team effort and a coalition of partners committed to changing the nature of work. Hence, government agencies, employers, trade unions, civil society organizations, and international partners must coordinate their activities and work together in this complex dance of progress. We can only strengthen labor protections and give life to their successful implementation through cooperation.

Improving occupational safety and health standards is the first step in this transforming process. All parties involved must make an investment in setting up workplaces that put employees’ physical and emotional health first. Every workplace should be built on solid safety procedures that are consistently updated and strictly enforced. We can make sure that every worker gets home unscathed with their wellbeing unaffected by carefully evaluating risks, implementing preventive measures, and encouraging a culture of alertness.

Another essential element of this multifaceted strategy is the development of comprehensive training programs. Giving employees the information and abilities to safely negotiate their working conditions gives them the authority to defend their own rights. We develop a workforce that is informed, watchful, and ready to defend their rights in the face of difficulty by investing in thorough training. Education becomes a potent tool that gives workers the confidence and resiliency to seek just compensation.

Empowering the Workforce: Uniting for Workers’ Rights

There are numerous fronts in the fight to increase public knowledge of workers’ rights. It is essential to involve the workers themselves, making sure they are aware of their rights and giving them the ability to ask for fair treatment and equitable recompense. Engaging employers, educating them about their obligations, and promoting a climate of respect and dignity at work are equally crucial. In order to close this information gap, spread knowledge, and promote workers’ rights, trade unions and civil society organizations are crucial. We can amplify the message and turn murmurs into a booming chorus demanding justice by working together, sharing resources, and initiating successful initiatives.

The core of this multifaceted strategy is creating a climate of respect and dignity at work. It calls for a paradigm shift—a fundamental change in the way we view and value employees. Respect becomes the guiding principle, and human dignity serves as the inspiration for all deeds. Employers must understand that employees are more than just cogs in the wheel of business; they are people with hopes, desires, and a right to be treated decently. We lay the groundwork for a more just and peaceful labor market by fostering a culture of mutual respect, celebration of diversity, and voice-hearing among employees.

Forging Collaborative Solutions: Uniting for a Just and Equitable Workplace

Working with vulnerability at work requires steadfast dedication and a shared objective. Moreover, it challenges us to look beyond our personal interests and form partnerships that cut across nations, groups, and ideas. To create a just and equitable future, governments, employers, unions, civil society organizations, and foreign partners must work together. We can remove the obstacles that maintain vulnerability and create an environment where every employee can succeed by working together, innovating, and advocating tirelessly.

The moment is here to take action. Now, let’s raise our voices in unity to support the rights of precarious workers and champion their cause. Together, let’s rewrite history and turn workplaces into places of respect and empowerment. By addressing workplace vulnerability, we create the road for a better tomorrow—a future where each employee is respected, safeguarded, and given every opportunity to succeed.


The tragic incident involving Syrian and Jordanian agriculture workers serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to prioritize labor rights as human rights. It highlights the vulnerabilities faced by workers in precarious sectors and emphasizes the importance of robust protections to ensure their safety and well-being. Jordan’s efforts to extend labor rights to agriculture workers, including Syrian refugees, are commendable. However, sustained commitment and collective action are necessary to bridge the gap between legislation and implementation, effectively safeguarding vulnerable workers and creating inclusive and equitable work environments.


1. How are labor rights connected to human rights?

Labor rights are an integral part of human rights, encompassing the fundamental principles of fair treatment, safe working conditions, and just compensation for all individuals engaged in economic activities.

2. What is Regulation No. 19 in Jordan?

Regulation No. 19, also known as the Agriculture Workers Bylaw, extends labor rights protection to agriculture workers, including Syrian refugees, and mandates employers to comply with occupational safety and health conditions.

3. How does Jordan facilitate Syrian refugees’ access to the formal labor market?

Jordan has implemented policies that ease the process of obtaining work permits for Syrian refugees, including waived or relaxed procedures, reduced fees, and permits allowing flexibility in working for different employers on a seasonal or daily basis.

4. Why is the implementation of labor protection measures challenging?

While legislation exists to protect workers, effective implementation remains a challenge due to various factors, such as inadequate enforcement mechanisms and gaps between policy and practice.

5. How can vulnerability at work be addressed?

Collaboration amongst stakeholders, including government agencies, employers, trade unions, civil society organizations, and international partners, is necessary to address vulnerability at work in a multifaceted manner. This entails boosting safety precautions, offering training courses, increasing knowledge of workers’ rights, and promoting a respectful and dignified work environment.

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