Draft NGO law contains restrictions on freedom of association


On March 21, the Ministry of Social Development released a draft NGO law intended to replace the 2008 Law No. 51 on Societies. There are concerns that the proposed law could impede freedom of association through new restrictions on foreign funding and the operation of international CSOs in Jordan, as well as a cumbersome CSO registration process. A politically charged atmosphere surrounds the creation of new independent trade unions and all attempts to establish new and independent trade unions are being rejected. In April 2016 the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions (GFJTU) sent an official letter calling for government institutions not to deal with newly created trade unions. As it stands, many ministries refuse to hold meetings with independent trade unions while the mayor of Amman  prevented their activities throughout April 2016.

Peaceful Assembly 

Since February, Jordan has experienced a wave of protests and sit-ins highlighting violations of women’s rights, the right to education, and the enjoyment of the freedom of association. Students in Amman organised protests and sit-ins against fee increases at universities. Approximately 100 people staged a sit-in in front of the Prime Ministry in late June demanding full rights for children of Jordanian women who are married to non-Jordanians. 


Prominent Lebanese band Mashrou Leila were banned from performing in Jordan in April. The group believes authorities imposed the ban because of pressure from political figures. The group were also informally told that they would not be allowed to perform again in Jordan due to their political and religious beliefs, which include the endorsement of gender equality and sexual freedom. The ban was lifted following an international campaign, however in the end the concert did not take place.