Local efforts to protect children and ensure their rights
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Although the efforts made at the local, regional and international levels are considered good, the lived reality and the obstacles and risks faced by children around the world require more efforts to ensure and maintain them.
Plans, strategies and laws that improve the foster care environment for children and protect and advance their rights by providing them with the means to live in safety and peace. The competent authorities and those who believe in children’s rights bring them back to the forefront every time they are neglected and not respected by the competent authorities. At the local level, the Law on Children has finally been approved after remaining in the drawers for almost a quarter of a century, in a step that experts and stakeholders believe is going in the right direction, while others believe that changing or deleting some of its provisions is a loss for the child, so as well as the removal of compulsory and free kindergartens from the law.
Previously, it brings us back to what was confirmed by the National Reading Strategy, launched by the Government in September last year, that the quality of pre-school learning is still a source of concern, as shown by the results of a study that measured the readiness of students Learning children in Jordan showed that 30% of children enrolled in the first grade is not ready to learn. And 38% of children aged 3-5 are estimated to be making progress in reading, writing and arithmetic.
The same strategy showed that the basis of success in learning depends on the first years of a child’s life, and that there is nothing more important in learning than the use of spoken and written language to express and share ideas and access different sources of knowledge and understanding.
Returning to the Law on the Rights of the Child, which will enter into force after the expiration of 90 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette, its implementation path begins on the condition that the competent authorities commit to its implementation within the framework of a clear plan and, in parallel, provide the necessary budgets and they are waiting for what will be approved in the Kingdom’s budget for next year.
An opportunity to bring rights back to the fore
In light of the commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the world, the rights of the child come first in the tragic conditions they face in countries of conflict and disaster. Caring for children came as an extension of the celebration of International Children’s Day, which emphasized the need to strengthen international interdependence, raise awareness among children in the world and improve their well-being.
On this occasion, the Secretary General of the National Council for Family Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi, said that the establishment of the Council was a continuation of the early childhood development strategy from the year 2000, and that it wants to achieve the goals of the strategy and implement its activities to ensure comprehensive care for children.
In statements to Al-Rai, he added: Adoption of the Law on the Rights of the Child no. (17) from 2022, which coincided with the passing of twenty years since the establishment of the National Service for Family Affairs, is the most outstanding achievement in her career. Because it is a constitution for the protection of children, including the legal provisions it contains that protect the right to childhood, and in light of the constant exposure of children to violence.
Physical and psychological violence
Children are exposed to multiple and different forms of physical and psychological violence, because the results of the national study on violence against children in Jordan, which the Council made in collaboration with UNICEF in 2020, revealed that 74.6% of children in the age group (8 -17) were exposed to at least one form of physical violence.
On the other hand, according to the same study, 58.3% of the same category were exposed to at least one form of psychological violence, as well as 27.3% were exposed to sexual violence.
In this context, the spread of social media revealed another form of violence that represents “cyberviolence” or “bullying”, since 13.2% of the mentioned category were exposed to at least one form of electronic violence.
Save the Children emphasizes the importance of Children’s Day in highlighting issues related to childhood, regardless of their condition and origin, especially the most vulnerable and vulnerable groups of children to have access to all rights, such as health, education, entertainment and the right to protection from violence, in order to could achieve a better future.
The Foundation points out that the importance of this day is that it highlights the protection of children from all forms of violence, including physical violence, exploitation, abuse and child marriage.
Children and climate challenges
According to a report issued by UNICEF regarding the classification of countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks such as hurricanes and heat waves, Jordan ranked 94th in terms of the degree to which they were affected by these shocks, based on the availability of basic services for them.
A report published in August last year showed that Jordanian children are exposed to the risks of water shortages, then the risks of air, soil and water pollution, and that the climate crisis is linked to children’s rights.
Experts believe that children are the weakest link. Because they do not have good manners and do not know how to deal with emergency situations and save themselves, which forces them to demand the necessity of their education in this area on the one hand, and on the other hand to prepare schools for a healthy atmosphere, such as providing cooling in summer and heating in winter.
They pointed out that although the Law on the Rights of the Child does not deal directly with climate change, it does refer to the child’s right to health care, health insurance and emergency treatment.
Children with developmental disabilities and challenges of school integration
Children with developmental disabilities face numerous problems and challenges centered on the unavailability of inclusive and equipped schools that would receive them, in light of the lack of basic conditions for their enrollment in barrier-free schools.
Some schools have provided the necessary infrastructure to serve this group, while others are trying to accomplish the task amid the requirement that all schools follow the success models of inclusive schools, especially those newly established, with the need for pre-planned creation of a healthy environment for this group.
Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities no. 20 of 2017 obliged the owners of modern buildings to provide the necessary conditions for services to people with disabilities, and in turn stipulated that 60% of old buildings should be prepared within 10 years.
The media spokesperson of the Higher Council for Persons with Disabilities, Raafat Al-Zitawi, said in previous statements to Al-Rai: “Persons with disabilities face great difficulties in accessing buildings and public facilities, especially parks, shopping centers and entertainment venues.” , emphasizing that this difficulty prevents them from integrating into society and enjoying the services it provides on the basis of equality with others.
local and international promotion efforts
Rights of the child
The National Council for Family Affairs invests efforts in protecting children and overcoming the obstacles that this group faces, in partnership with competent authorities at the local, regional and international levels.
In this regard, experts and specialists discussed the proposed priorities for the child protection program between UNICEF and the Government for the years 2023-2027, in the framework of working groups that included partners from national institutions and international organizations, on the modification and implementation of policies , standards and guidelines. in relation to violence against children, while developing the skills and abilities of service providers.
A legitimate question remains: Will there be a clear plan for the implementation of the Law on the Rights of the Child on the ground and will the necessary budgets for its actual implementation be available in the budget of the Kingdom for the next year??!!.