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Series of national activities launched to mark World Day Against Child Labour

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Jun 12,2022 - Last updated at Jun 13,2022

Image courtesy of UNICEF

AMMAN — Child Labour Task Forces that include ministries, governmental entities, organisations and associations  on Sunday launched a series of national activities to mark World Day Against Child Labour, which annually falls on June 12, at the Haya Cultural Centre.

The theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour is “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour”.

During panel discussion Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour, Farouk Al Hadidi, announced that the ministry in partnership with the Child Labour Task Force, launched a campaign for 2022 titled #StillAChild.

 “We need more national efforts to reduce child labour by governments, employers and workers, in addition to the participation of the local community, civil society institutions and the media,” Hadidi added. 

Hadidi indicated that the Ministry of Labour has had a specialised department to deal with child labour since 1999. 

“The law forbids the employment of children under the age of 16, and also forbids the employment of children in dangerous work environments before the age of 18, provided that their working hours do not exceed six hours a day, and that they do not work at night, on official holidays, or the weekend,” Hadid highlighted. 

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA), Mohammad Miqdadi, said that the NCFA, under the directives of Her Majesty Queen Rania is working to give priority to issues surrounding childhood, including an emphasis on child labour.

“We want to seize the opportunity to emphasise the implementation of the national framework to combat child labour that was approved in 2021,” Miqdadi added. 

Ahmed Al Zaben, Director of the Juvenile and Community Security Directorate at the Ministry of Social Development, said that a child labour department has been established within the ministry and many agreements have been concluded with charities and partner institutions to provide psychological and social support to working children and their families after transferring cases from the relevant authorities. 

Nabeel Al Hanaqta, the head of the Education Department in the Ministry of Education, said that the ministry contributes, in cooperation with its partners, to providing alternative educational opportunities for out-of-school children.

“The ministry’s programmes aim to withdraw children from the labour market and provide them with the skills necessary to empower them in society, while also taking the necessary measures to reduce children dropping out of school,” Hanaqta added. 

Firas Al Rasheed, head of the Juvenile and Family Protection Department at the Public Security Directorate, brought attention to the harmful impact of child labour on the physical, intellectual and emotional health of a child.

Mariyampillai Mariyaselvam, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF Jordan, said: “Child labour robs children of their childhood and their true potential, as well as denying them their rights to education and protection.” 

Farida Khan, ILO country coordinator and gender specialist, said:  “In its fight against child labour in the future, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is focusing on achieving universal access to social protection and gradual expansion of access to comprehensive, adequate, sustainable, gender, age and disability-inclusive social protection.”

Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Jordan representative, said: “Data and research indicate the precarious situation facing refugees and that a percentage of families are trying to adapt through very negative strategies, which may include child labour.” 

Those participating in these national events include the Ministries of Labour; Education; and Social Development; the Juvenile and Family Protection Department of the Public Security Directorate; the National Council for Family Affairs; UNICEF; UNHCR; the ILO; Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights; Plan International; Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development; Terre des hommes; the Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development; International Medical Corps , Save the Children, Rowad Al Khair Association and the Institute for Family Health, according to a UNICEF statement. 

 

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