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UNICEF organises roundtable for Islamic leaders, experts, civil society and NGOs

“Mechanisms to Protect the Family Unity from Divorce”

AMMAN, 30 September 2003 - The Chief of Islamic Justice and Special Advisor to His Majesty King Abdullah II, Sheikh Izzidin Khatib Tamimi, today called for the establishment of a specialised division for family guidance and counseling  in local   law courts. At a one-day roundtable discussion on ”Mechanisms to Protect Family Unity from Divorce,” Tamimi emphasized the importance of reaching family reconciliation through counseling before reverting to the courts.

At the meeting, participants from the Ministry of Social Development, members of both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament, the National Council for Family Affairs, judges and non-governmental organisations focused on the importance of ensuring family unity through the implementation of mediation programmes.

According to the UNICEF Jordan Country Office, organizing this event in cooperation with Mawada for Family, mediation programmes are effective in resolving family disputes. However, and if divorce is the outcome, then mediation can help the child enjoy harmonious and continued family relations with both parents.

“It has been proven that children coming from broken families are faced with many social and psychosocial problems among which are low educational achievement, the risk of delinquency, and premature entry into the labour force,” said Anne Skatvedt, UNICEF Representative in Jordan.

Parents and States share the responsibility of ensuring the best interests of the child in terms of upbringing and development and finding the proper support mechanisms to do so.

“Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that parents have the primary responsibility for securing the best conditions for the child’s optimal development and it is the duty of the state to help them realize this,” said Skatvedt.

During the course of the meeting, Abdul Salam Darwesh, Head of Family Guidance and Reformation from the Courts Department in Dubai, presented successful case studies of  preserving the family unity through counseling, preventive measures and mediation. He said that such programmes have succeeded in reducing divorce rates from 36% to 21% in less than three years in the UAE.

For more information, please contact:

Hind- Lara Mango
Communication Officer
UNICEF/Jordan Country Office
Tel: 5502430, Fax: 5531112
E-mail: hmango@unicef.org 




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