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Combating Violence against Children project receives grant from the Netherlands

AMMAN, 14 June 2006 – UNICEF Jordan received today a grant of approximately JD 78,000 from the Embassy of the Netherlands to continue strengthening responses to combat violence against children in the country.

"With the funds received, UNICEF will support its partners, mainly 480 doctors, judges, social workers and police to be able to correctly detect and respond to child abuse cases.  Furthermore, this will support the established Child Protection Committees at ten public hospitals in the Kingdom to improve the capacities and streamline child abuse procedures in the Kingdom," said Anne Skatvedt, UNICEF Representative in Jordan, at the signing ceremony.  These Committees will be responsible for the early detection and referral of child abuse cases admitted to these hospitals. 

Why is it important to have such Committees in place?

When physically abused children are brought for routine check-up and treatment, there is a good chance that doctors and nurses can detect abuse cases.  However, the health sector in the Kingdom needs support to provide diagnostic services to abused children.  The issues surrounding the problem of child abuse are often not addressed or taught systematically in medical and nursing schools.  Health professionals in Jordan, including government physicians and nurses, need more support to identify the insidious nature of this problem, including support in early diagnosis, referral and intervention.  Less than one per cent of child abuse cases reported to the Family Protection Department were referred through the health sector in Amman.  This percentage is extremely low when compared to international figures.

The funds will also support the training of social workers from the Ministry of Social Development, non-governmental organizations and police officers from the Family Protection Department.  UNICEF will continue to provide the Family Protection Department with specialized forensic equipment.

"The Embassy is very proud to be part of this Project and of real benefit to Jordan," said Johan Verboom, Charge d'Affaires at the Embassy of the Netherlands, to the directors of the judiciary institutions and forensic services in Jordan, members from the Ministry of Health, police and the media at the signing ceremony.

How will judges make use of this training?

In Jordan, the judiciary will be trained in using the video-taping system for administering child video taped testimonies. One court will be provided with a closed-circuit television system to enable a child to be questioned through this system.

Jordan started to tackle the issue of violence against children in 1997 and has succeeded in building the capacity of law enforcement officers and establishing a specialized police department to deal with abused children and their families.  Policies have been put into place through the development of the National Framework for Family Protection.  

For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Hind-Lara Mango, Communications Officer, UNICEF Jordan, Tel. +962 6550 2430, hmango@unicef.org




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