|Authors||Eugene SENSENIG-DABBOUS, Guita HOURANI|
Migration policy is one of the fields least scrutinized in the Arab world. Responding to international economic trends, policy makers, social partners, and civil society players in Jordan and Lebanon have come to the realization that certain labour market bottlenecks can only be overcome by bringing in foreign workers. This has led to a significant immigration of laborers from a wide variety of countries and forced all relevant participants in the policy making process to renew their interest in coordinated temporary labour migration schemes. Both in Jordan and Lebanon, experts and policy makers alike see opportunities in these schemes that can help them meet the changing demands in their labour markets without permanently adding to their populations and labour forces. In the countries of origin, reciprocally, temporary labour migration schemes are intended to allow governments to alleviate pressures on their labour markets in the short and medium-term, and also let them reap the benefits of migration, through remittances and skill acquisition. In this study the authors will consider, based on a tripartite approach, whether the interests of employers and workers organizations coincide with those of governments in designing and implementing temporary migration schemes. The internationally codified rights of migrant workers to equality and non-discrimination and to their integration into societies and workplaces will be compared to the realities on the ground in Lebanon and Jordan. Have the limited provisions for protecting employees’ rights and a lack of their integration into the host societies negatively affected policy goals, closely linked to social cohesion? Does the effective protection of migrant workers contradict the needs of the indigenous populations in Lebanon and Jordan in general? Can the empowerment of the migrants themselves and their inclusion into the tripartite decision making process facilitate migration policy reform? Which social players can – and have – step in if the state and social partners neglect those roles foreseen for them by the international organizations dealing primarily with migrant labour, first and foremost the International Labour Organization (ILO)?