Save the Children CEO underlines need to uphold child rights

Save the Children CEO rebuttals attacks on children
President Samuel Kakish presents speaker Diala Khamra with an appreciation certificate. (Photo: Handout from Amman International Rotary Club)
AMMAN — CEO of Save the Children Jordan Diala Khamra presented statistical evidence highlighting the need for a modern law in Jordan to uphold the rights of children at a recent Amman International Rotary Club meeting. اضافة اعلان

Khamra said that while 97 percent of children in Jordan get a basic education, 112,016 are currently out of school, among them 50,000 Syrians, 40,000 Jordanians, and 21,000 from different nationalities. Among people with disabilities a whopping 79 percent do not receive any education, she said.

Of students in second and third grades, 70 percent read without comprehension and one-third study in schools that do not provide conducive physical space because of the two-shift system and their presence in rented spaces, which are not originally built for educational purposes.

According to Khamra, corporal punishment is widespread and child labor numbers are worrisome. Among an estimated 76,000 children engaged in child labor, 60 percent work in hazardous jobs, she said.

Child marriage continues to be a problem, she said. “While the law in Jordan sets the minimum age of 18 for marriage, 11 percent of current marriages are registered for children under 18 using the exception clause,” Khamra added.

She said that although compulsory education for kindergarten was dropped in the current draft of the Child Rights Law, it is still “a good law” that must be passed because it “obligates the government to do more for children, especially in the areas of education, health, and wellbeing.”

She added that the draft child rights law is an important milestone for children in Jordan and a step in the right direction although it still needs development in some areas.

If implemented on the ground, she added, it will serve as a guiding compass for all parties working with children, especially since the law outlined the government’s commitment to accomplish various aspects of the law within a period of two years but no longer than 10 years.

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