Learn About Child Protection

Who is a child?

  • - Any person under the age of 18.

What are the rights of children?

  • - Rights are universal; meaning that all children have the same and equal rights.
  • - Children’s rights are listed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international human rights document, which Jordan ratified in 1990.
  • - The Convention ensures the protection and quality of life for children.
  • - The Convention on the Rights of the Child was needed because people under 18 years of age need special care and protection that differs from the protection adults need.
  • - It is very important that parents and children understand the Convention that includes all their rights.
  • - Four Principles of the Convention:
    • 1. Non-Discrimination.
    • 2. Best interests of the child.
    • 3. The right to survival and development.
    • 4. The views of the child.

What is Child Protection?

The right to protection is clearly listed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and all children have the right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse.

Principles for action for Child Rights:

  • Put children first. In all our undertakings, the best interests of the child shall always be our primary consideration.
  • Leave no child behind. Because every girl and boy is born free and equal in dignity and rights, all forms of discrimination affecting children must end.
  • Care for every child. The survival and development of children is the essential foundation of human development. No effort should be spared to ensure that children get the best possible start in life.
  • Educate every child. All girls and boys must receive a quality basic education that is free and compulsory.
  • Stop harming and exploiting children. Any acts of violence, exploitation and abuse against children are intolerable and must come to an end.
  • Protect children from war. Children must be protected from the horrors of armed conflict.
  • Combat HIV/AIDS. Children and their families must be protected from the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS.
  • Fight poverty: invest in children. We reaffirm our vow to break the cycle of poverty within a single generation, united in the conviction that poverty reduction must begin with children and the realization of their rights.
  • Listen to children. We regard children as resourceful citizens capable of helping to build a better future for all. We must respect their rights to express themselves and to participate in decisions that affect them.
  • Protect Earth for children. We must preserve our planet in order to nurture our children; equally, we must nurture our children if we are to preserve our planet.

Important Concepts Related to Violence against Children:

  • o Violence against children is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented.
  • o Every child has the right to a life free from violence.
  • o Violence against children can never be justified.
  • o Adults are responsible for protecting children.
  • o Violence against children knows no boundaries.
  • o Much violence against children is hidden.
  • o Violence perpetuates poverty, illiteracy and early mortality.

Child Protection in Jordan:

The protective environment for children in Jordan continues to improve, both in terms of the social norms that underpin violations of children's rights as well as in the capacity of institutions to respond to children who survive these violations. However, overall, child protection systems and enabling environments for the protection of children and women continues to be weak. Violence against children is culturally and socially condoned and accepted to a large extent in Jordan.

Laws & Regulations related to child protection in Jordan:

While Jordan has ratified most of the major human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), violence against children continues to be widely accepted socially and culturally. The domestic legal framework still needs to be strengthened and Jordan has yet to pass a childhood law codifying key provisions of the CRC.

In 2017, UNICEF is supporting the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) to draft a national childhood law that would fill gaps in the domestic legal framework insofar as child rights are concerned. The draft law will build upon the four main pillars of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), establish new provisions protecting child rights, and identify and respond to existing laws contrary to child rights and Jordan’s obligations under the CRC.

Specific Articles on Child Protection Include:

- Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence):

Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.

- Article 32 (Child labour):

Children should be protected from work that is dangerous or might harm their health, their education or jeopardize their right to relaxation and play.

- Article 34 (Sexual exploitation):

Children have the right to be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

- Article 36 (Other forms of exploitation):

Children should be protected from any activity that takes advantage of them or could harm their welfare and development.

- Article 37 (Detention and punishment):

No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way. Children who break the law should not be treated cruelly.