The Jordanian government still faces obstacles in fully implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, due to lack of finances, although some progress has been made, a new report says.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), together with the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Social Developments (MoSD) and National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA), launched Jordan's third report on Child Rights (1998-2005) on Monday.
"The general economic situation in the region, which is closely linked with the damaging impact of the third Gulf war and Iraq occupation, has affected the Jordanian economy. In addition to this, there was difficulty in securing international loans due to the harsh conditions imposed by financial institutions. A lack of related experiences and the huge growth in Jordan's population were also obstacles facing the government," the report said.
The document states that there are still few facilities for children and women in need of protection because of the current financial strictures.
It was compiled as a result of nationwide collaborative work by 140 experts from the both the government and a range of NGOs and will be presented to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in Geneva in July, forming part of Jordan’s commitment to the Convention, which was internationally approved in 1990 and signed by Jordan in 1991.
The report highlights monitoring and evaluation as important tools for the protection of children and notes progress has been made on children’s rights in the country. It also addresses the closing recommendations made in the second CRC report, submitted by Jordan in 1998.
It praises the country’s efforts in the fields of early childhood development, protection, adolescent participation and development in implementing the National Plan of Action for Children. Reference is made to proposed legislative amendments pertaining to children, policies, programmes and strategies in line with the CRC.
"It’s encouraging that the government is studying the possibility of granting temporary passports to the children of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians and living in hardship," Nasser Moeini, Officer in Charge for UNICEF-Jordan said in the capital, Amman.
The CRC also observed the problems of Iraqi refugee children in Jordan who have no access to education.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with relevant UN agencies in Jordan, submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for the enrolment of these refugee children in schools earlier this year.
At the end of the launch on Monday, officials and CRC experts stressed the need to implement one of the most important recommendations of the last report, which emphasised the need to submit the Convention to the Jordanian Parliament.
"This is the only way that the Convention can be binding in a court of Law," said Moeini.
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