In partnership with NCFA, UNHCR and UNICEF, the Public Security Directorate/Family Protection Department organized a conference on the best interests of the child principle.
Inaugurating the conference on behalf of HM Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Minister of Social Development Basma Ishaqat said that Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania have paid special attention to early childhood where hope for a better future is rooted, noting that their directives in this regard have charted an effective roadmap for the relevant entities to protect children’s rights according to an institutional work mechanism.
During the inauguration attended by the Public Security Director Maj. Gen. Fadel Al-Hmoud, Ishaqat briefed the audience on the steps undertaken by the Ministry in terms of legislation, regulations and measures on the ground that guarantee care and protection of the interests of the child and which are being implemented by several relevant international and national entities.
On his part, the Assistant Public Security Director for Judicial Affairs Walid Battah indicated that the Directorate seeks to provide the best security services through its policy that focuses on preserving the dignity of citizens and residents alike. It also pays great interest to the childhood sector through the establishment of the Family Protection and the Juvenile Police Departments, complementing Jordan’s efforts in the realization of the best interests of the child against any abuse or endangerment to his/her life.
During the conference, Family Protection Department Director Colonel Fakhri Al Qatarneh explained that the conference aims to explore the principle of the best interest of the child in terms of its application and practices on the ground across the various legal, social, educational and health-related sectors, hoping that the conference’s outputs will be reflected in actual practices and help provide participants with the necessary knowledge to increases their capacities in a manner that has positive impacts on the children and their issues.
“The realization of the best interests of the child demands our collaboration on a lot of fronts”, added Miqdady, commenting on the latest report on the status of the Jordanian families issued by NCFA in 2018, which shows that more than 40.1% of surveyed families believe that family violence is a private family affair that does not require resorting to official or government institutions for such matter.
“This gives us a clear indication that more efforts and awareness-raising is needed to achieve family security”, Miqdady emphasized.
Attending the conference, UNHCR Representative in Jordan Stefano Severe said that this principle focuses on child welfare as a fundamental element in all aspects of life and in public services, noting that Jordan has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and that the conference is a reflection of Jordan’s commitment to take practical steps to achieve what is in the best interest of the child in all aspects of life.
UNICEF/ Jordan Deputy Representative Ettie Higgins said that in spite of the wide ratification of the CRC, the world is still witnessing each day and in all countries, whether developed or underdeveloped, millions of victims from boys and girls being abused in their own homes, schools and communities. Every five minutes a child dies as a result of violence.
“All countries have a chance today to end violence against children if they work together and act wisely”, stressed Higgins, reaffirming UNICEF’s commitment to support the Jordanian national protection system for response to and prevention of violence against children.
It is to be noted that the three-day conference attended by representatives from ministries and institutions concerned with child and family protection discusses the ‘best interest’ principle as being one of the interpretative guiding principles contained in the CRC and its adoption as a procedural principle to give effect to the rights contained in the convention.
To that effect, the conference aims to provide a platform for all sectors and entities concerned with the protection and realization of child rights to exchange expertise and perspectives on the best practices in the application of this principle and analyze the hurdles and challenges facing them legislatively and practically.
It also aims to discuss the strategies and methods that should be adopted based on this principle and come up with a set of recommendations that enhance respect and practical application of this fundamental principle.
The conference’s sessions covered several themes including behavioral change programs, social values and monitoring and evaluation systems. It also introduced a set of basic indicators which can help eliminate violence against children and formulate national priorities for combating this behavior for the coming three years.