Child Protection

A childhood free from all forms of violence and exploitation for every child

A young girl in a Makani Centre
UNICEF/Herwig

Challenges

Jordan has ratifed the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. While protecting children from harm is a cornerstone of key Government policies, enforcement can be complicated by social and cultural norms, and by economic realities.

Children with disabilities, unaccompanied or separated children, children without parental care, children from marginalized minority communities and children living and/or working on the streets face particular inequities. Refugee children and children from the poorest families also face significant child protection concerns.

Although corporal punishment is illegal in schools, alternative care settings and penal institutions, the use of violence in these settings – and in homes – continues to be widely accepted socially and culturally. Nine out of 10 children experience violent discipline (psychological and/or physical). 

According to the 2016 National Child Labour Survey, over 75,000 children are engaged in economic activities, including nearly 45,000 children who are engaged in hazardous forms of labour. Poverty and lack of livelihood opportunities for the family are the main reasons why children work.

According to the 2015 census, 3.7% of 13-17 year old girls are married, including two per cent of Jordanian girls and 13% of Syrian girls in this age group (Department of Statistics and ICF International, 2013). The Syrian crisis has exacerbated the prevalence of early marriage and heightened the potential for exploitation of girls.

Solutions

UNICEF supports a robust legislative environment and strong national capacity to plan, budget for and implement programmes that prevent and respond to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children. In addition, UNICEF is:

  • Reaching boys, girls and women at-risk for violence and exploitation with an integrated package of quality child protection and gender-based violence prevention and responsive services;
  • Providing over 110,000 children with psychosocial support through Makani centres;
  • Equipping children, families and communities with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves and reduce violence - including bullying;
  • Improving the conditions of shelters and providing quality services for survivors of violence;
  • Promoting positive parenting skills to parents and caregivers to create violence-free homes;
  • Advocating for legislative and policy reform for children, including the Childhood Law and Juvenile Law.