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Activists demand stringent laws to curb child abuse, neglect

By Rana Husseini - Sep 16,2020 - Last updated at Sep 16,2020


AMMAN — Children’s rights activists in Jordan on Wednesday called for implementing stricter laws and stronger measures against parents and adult family members who neglect their children.

The calls came following several incidents that took place in the Kingdom in recent months involving parents who either left their newborn in trash bins in the streets, or offered them for adoption via social media “because they are financially unable to raise him”, according to activists.

The alleged adoption incident went viral last week causing outrage in society, activists said.

“These two incidents are really shocking and I believe the government needs to adopt stricter measures to safeguard the well-being of children,” Mizan Law Group Executive Director Eva Abu Halaweh said.

Abu Halaweh told The Jordan Times that the judicial branch “needs to designate a special Criminal Court prosecutor who is specialised in cases of child negligence and assault”.

“Dealing with children needs specialised people capable of obtaining the needed information in a manner that would be psychologically safe and appropriate for the child's well-being,” Abu Halaweh noted.

Jordan signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 and ratified it by a Royal Decree in 1999, with reservations on three articles. A law was issued for the endorsement of the convention and was published in the Official Gazette (issue no. 4787) on October 16, 2006.

National Council for Family Affairs Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi told The Jordan Times that the council has been following up on the case of reported “adoption via social media and the children found in the trash bin”.

“We are following up on these cases of children who are now placed in the Ministry of Social Development centres and are attended by the social workers there, as well as following up on other cases of violence against children in the country,” Miqdadi said.

Both Abu Halaweh and Miqdadi stressed the need to enforce "more stringent punishments against the parents and other family members" who violate the rights of their children and jeopardise their safety and security because “the current laws are either weak or not being implemented properly or visibly to the public”.

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