(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Labour Minister Atef Odeibat is currently in Ethiopia to sign a domestic helper recruitment agreement with his Ethiopian counterpart, the ministry said on Sunday.
In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, Labour Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Adwan reiterated that the agreement is expected to lower the cost of recruiting domestic helpers, which reached unprecedented levels over the past two years.
"The agreement will streamline the recruitment process and will ensure that the process is conducted smoothly, meeting the interests of all parties involved in the recruitment of domestic helpers, including the Ethiopian female workers and their employers," he said, adding that the ministry will ensure that the workers' rights are secured at all times.
Ethiopia is to become the fifth country from which Jordan recruits domestic workers, after Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and most recently Bangladesh.
However, both the Indonesian and Sri Lankan governments forbade agents from sending domestic helpers to the Kingdom in 2010, two years after the Philippines did so, on the backdrop of numerous alleged violations of these workers' rights.
Domestic Helpers Recruitment Agencies Association President Khaled Hseinat told The Jordan Times on Sunday that recruitment of Ethiopians would proceed immediately after the agreement was signed.
"I have visited Ethiopia and checked the medical centres where potential domestic helpers will be examined before they are sent to Jordan in addition to the centre where they will be educated on the nature of their work and Jordanian culture," Hseinat added.
He underlined that according to the agreement, the recruitment cost per domestic helper is expected to be around JD1,800 and their salaries will range from 150-200 per month.
According to official figures, Jordanians currently employ nearly 70,000 domestic helpers. Of these, 40,000 are Indonesian and 13,330 from the Philippines.