This year, 451 cases of child labor were confiscated

Rania Al Sarayrah – Tamkeen Association for Legal Aid and Human Rights, at the end of its program “Project to reduce and reduce child labor in hazardous sectors in Jordan”, revealed 451 cases of child labor seized by the Ministry of Labor from the beginning of this year to date, and employers were given 136 warnings and 102 violations.
The program included an update of the national strategy for combating child labor and a strategic action plan with the participation of national, local and international institutions, and a team of advisers created the final version of the strategy for combating child labor and begging in 2022-2030.
This program, implemented by Tamkeen, comes with the support of the European Regional Program for Development and Protection to strengthen local capacities for child labor protection and prevention measures in Jordan and to increase the commitment of interested and active parties, apply organizational solutions to this issue between national, local and international institutions that work to combat child labor and begging.
In a presentation given by Linda Kalash, director of Tamkeen, she said that the purpose and objectives of the updated strategy are in line with the updated National Child Labor Framework for 2021 and the National Child Labor Survey of 2016. The strategy is also in line with aspects listed in the national framework related to child labor, especially its worst forms, in order to get support for the implementation of the strategy and child labor.
The strategy uses the amended 2021 Anti-Trafficking Act, which recognizes organized begging as a form of trafficking, and requires that these changes be reflected in the new Juvenile Act, which must recognize that begging is one of the worst forms of child violence. of work, according to Kalash.
She said: “The main aim of the updated strategy is to identify and combat cases of child labour, recognizing begging as one of the worst forms of child labour. This will be achieved by strengthening local capacities to take safeguards and prevent child labor environments.”
The participants, representatives of government and civil agencies that work in the field of reducing child labor, discussed the confirmation of the strategy and its action plan by the Prime Minister, which focuses on getting support for the importance of her reflection on the policies and procedures of competent bodies, namely the ministries: of work, education, social development, as well as General security, including juvenile and anti-trafficking units and community policing.
At the same time, members of the strategy will reflect this legislative change on their own policies and procedures, especially those related to the referral system and case management, and address the different laws that apply to actual child labor cases, such as laws against human rights human trafficking, minors and punishments.
The participants touched on the axis of the strategy and the way of its implementation in reducing child labor and begging, the continuation of its action plan and the adoption of the axis for the institutions present at the meeting.
The number of children in Jordan is about 3.8 million, which makes up about 40% of the population, while young people make up about a third of the population.
Over the past years, Jordan has taken great strides in protecting children and their rights, including taking steps to reduce the problem of child labor. In order to remove it, he was the first country in West Asia and the second Arab country to ratify it.
At the level of national legislation, it has seen a development that guarantees greater protection of working children, and its most prominent step in recent years was the adoption of the Law on Minors from 2014, which classified working children among the groups in need of protection and care. .
The participants pointed out that with the development of the legislation and the development of the updated framework, it became necessary to update the national strategy to reduce child labor, especially since the last strategy was approved in 2006, and to keep up with the changes, especially with what was included in the latest national research on child labor in Jordan for 2016, which showed a doubling of the number of working children.
According to the research, the number of economically active working children in Jordan is 69.6 thousand working children, of which 44 thousand are in dangerous work, and the percentage of working children reached 1.89% of children, while the percentage of men reached 3.24% and women 0.45%, and 94.8% enrolled in school, while for Syrian children it is 72.5%.
They pointed out that child labor is a complex problem, because it overlaps with economic, social and cultural factors, and poverty is one of the main causes of child labor, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics for 2017, and the poverty rate is estimated at 15.7 %, while the UNICEF study for 2017 estimates that the multidimensional poverty rate among children is 20%.
The reasons for family poverty are due to the lack of elements to practice productive work, be it skills, work, money or land, as unemployment rates for the year 2020 reached about 23.2%, according to statistics department numbers.
Children also work because they believe that the benefit of work is greater than the benefit of education or because the quality of education is low, and they consider the influence of parents on the child as one of the important reasons for their work, so parents prefer that their children join the labor market rather than stay in school, then employers employ them to exploit them, and do not pay them according to the minimum wage.
They pointed out that education is a guarantee and the first safety valve in dealing with the problem of child labor, because studies have proven the existence of a reciprocal relationship between dropping out of school and child labor, which confirms the importance of the Ministry of Education playing a key role. and a key role in dealing with and preventing this problem, because 112,016 children. In Jordan, 6.2% are not enrolled in schools from the first to the tenth grade, according to data from the Ministry of Education in 2017-2018. a joint report between “UNICEF” and the Ministry of Education released in 2020. Data shows that the majority of children not enrolled in education are not from Jordan, including There are 50,000 Syrian children, and according to the Ministry of Education, boys are more likely to drop out of school than girls .
The number of working girls is 8,868, despite the relatively small number, but there remains an urgent need to present a strategy that takes into account the conditions of working girls, especially since the consequences of work on girls are no less severe than those on male children.
Child labor is directly related to the problem of child marriage, because the figures showed an increase in the marriage of underage girls in 2020, the year in which the Corona pandemic spread, so about 8 thousand marriage contracts were registered, at a rate of 11.8% compared to 10 .6% for 2019, which is after 3 years of consecutive decline.
It is noted that the Law on Personal Status does not under any circumstances or reason allow marriage before the age of 16, but allows marriage in general after the age of majority, and marriage between them can be approved in exceptional cases when procedures and approvals are required, according to the instructions issued for that purpose.
In 2017, new instructions were issued for the conclusion of marriage for the age group younger than 18, with the aim of limiting the discretionary power of judges and establishing more specific criteria, and enabling the conclusion of marriage through several stages and several levels, which are the court of first instance, a case study by social workers and the review of proceedings by judicial committees. Three and from the central administration, specializing in juvenile matters in the Department of the Chief Justice.
In addition to economic, social and cultural factors, the crisis emerges as one of the most prominent causes of the increase in the problem of child labor. In light of the economic consequences that the crisis imposes on families, families are forced into negative ways of adaptation. cope with these changes, and child labor is one of the most prominent.
During the past ten years 2011-2021, Jordan has witnessed facing two crises, namely the Syrian refugee crisis and the crisis caused by the Corona virus pandemic, since both crises have had a significant impact on the worsening of the child labor problem in Jordan, as confirmed by develop mechanisms to deal with emergencies and crises, by studying the effects of crises on child labor and developing national plans containing response programs.
This includes adopting alternatives to ensure protection for the most vulnerable and vulnerable groups in society, including protecting children from the risks of dropping out of school and child labour. The refugee crisis in Syria had a clear impact, especially with the influx of population, which inevitably means an increase in the problem, in addition to the problem of poverty, because 86% of registered Syrian refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line, according to the statement. UNHCR data shows that 15.7% of Jordanians are poor due to the low level of consumption of basic needs according to the National Social Protection Strategy 2019-2025, and the reflection of the problem of poverty among the refugee community was clear. , on child labor rates, as the percentage of children working in the Syrian refugee community reached 3.22% according to a national survey, while it reached among nationalities Others accounted for 1.98% and Jordanians accounted for 1.75% in 2016. year.
The updated national framework has come to deal with the cases of working children and beggars, according to a participatory approach between service providers, so that they deal with working children, to contribute to the provision of immediate assistance services for them, be it personal, economic, social, or any other types, in coordination with partner agencies to strengthen the Social Protection system, by examining complaints arising from injuries that pose a threat to the life of an employed child.

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