Our Projects

Combat child labor in Petra : Phase I

The problem of child labor in Petra has existed since the early days of tourism in Jordan.   Archived photographs from the National Libraries of Australia and Britain document children transporting tourists on animals as far back as the 1930’s.   Despite the development in the tourism industry in Petra and the surrounding communities over the last three decades, knowledge of the social and cultural consequences of perpetuating child labor practices lags behind the times.


There is no clear or precise data about the number of children and what attracts children to this lifestyle to illuminate this issue.   There are several varying estimates on the number of children laboring in Petra.   The commonly acknowledged number is approximately 200 children.


Contributing to the phenomenon of growth in the number of school dropouts and high illiteracy rates is the cyclical nature of the sub-culture of employees, which has now affected the lives of four generations of workers in Petra.   This is one of the ongoing challenges in the chronic development of tourism in Petra.   This problem contributes to a potential negative impression by visiting tourists.


The project aims to contribute to combating child labor in Petra, implemented by Bait Al Anbat, in collaboration with The British Council and British Embassy-Amman to achieve the following objectives:


1)       Provide a clear and accurate understanding about the realities of the child labor problem in the wealthy city of Petra, including the size of the problem; the characteristics of the children involved; and specifically what attracts them to these activities.

2)       Provide information to the appropriate authorities for law enforcement purposes, as well as follow-up over the implementation phase of the project.   

3)       Bring to light in the targeted communities the issues surrounding employment of their children, particularly to motivate their return to school for the sake of their future well-being.

4)       Directly encourage the children themselves to return to school.

5)       Contribute to the awareness of tourists about how to assist in the fight against child labor in Petra by refraining from buying items from them.