NCFA's press conference on the 25th anniversary of the CRC
In the year 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years of age often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.
The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly as an international law on November 20th 1989 and came into effect on September 2nd 1990 after it was ratified by signatory countries.
It is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the complete range of human rights for children, including civil, political, cultural, social and economic rights.
Jordan ratified the CRC in 24/5/1991 which cares for children under eighteen years of age and prohibits discrimination based on sex, color, parents, origin, religion, or race. It also calls for observing the best interests of the child through states' commitment to take all appropriate administrative and legislative measures to preserve the children's right to life, growth, identity, nationality, name, not to be separated from their partents against their will and not to be transferred abroad forcibly.
NCFA attaches high priority to the Jordanian family and its children, which stems from the visions of their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, Head of NCFA's Board of Trustees, in placing the future and welfare of children at the forefront of the national agenda and policies.
In this context and marking the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), NCFA in cooperation with UNICEF organized a ceremony in September under the patronage of HM Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. During the ceremony, key national achievements in the field of child rights since the ratification of Jordan in 1991 were brought into light and national priorities in this area were identified so as to be later on translated into operational frameworks.
The ceremony included national panel discussions with the participation of all public and private national institutions working in the area of childhood to discuss the progress made in the realization of child rights at the national level. Discussions also included the challenges and future plans that should be applied to ensure the fulfillment of these rights for all Jordanian children in the areas of social protection, development, health, education and protection from violence. NCFA will follow-up on the recommendations emerging from the workshop and will translate them into concrete work plans for the year 2015 and the years after.
Furthermore, NCFA is working on a number of projects that enhance the concepts and programs of child protection from abuse. It is currently conducting a survey in collaboration with UNICEF to promote and enhance the role of Jordan's "support and help lines" that are designed to provide psychological, social and family counseling services to children, their families and care providers and also to reduce the aggravation of violence against children.
The objectives of the survey study are to determine how well the support and help lines have spread throughout the Kingdom and identify the services provided for the children and families at the national level and identify the national and legal frameworks that govern their operation. The survey also aims to identify gaps and downsides of the Jordanian experience at the institutional and national levels which prevent its activation, their respective proposed procedures and remedies and those related to this matter. Moreover, it attempts to put forward a future prospect for improvement, extend the experience to other areas of the Kingdom and enhance and sustain the level of services provided.
In cooperation with governmental and non-governmental relevant institutions, NCFA finalized the Accreditation and Quality Assurance System for service provided to family violence cases and was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers last month. The criteria-based system aims to ensure the provision of high quality and standardized services from relevant institutions working in the Kingdom to violence cases. The criteria serve as a benchmark for national institutions to regulate their work, evaluate all service-related operations and take necessary measures to scale up their services.
Work in under way to roll out the system to all national institutions to be reflected at the institutional level following a workshop for relevant institutions on application and follow-up procedures. To ensure the implementation of the criteria, NCFA has partnered with King Abdullah II Award for Excellence which will support NCFA with its follow-up on the commitment of institutions through adopting and incorporating NCFA's accreditation and quality assurance criteria into their own set of criteria when considering applications submitted by the relevant institutions.
In line with its roles in formulating and following-up on policies and plans with relation to the family and children, NCFA intends to review and update the National Framework for Protection Against Family Violence in collaboration with stakeholders and under the supervision of the National Team for Family Protection. The objective of this update is to enhance the effectiveness of the framework in the area of policymaking and determine mechanisms of collaboration in dealing with family violence cases by drawing on the practical implementation of the framework during the past years and taking into consideration new legislative and institutional developments at the national level. Furthermore, it aims to clarify the distinct role of each institution and determine national institutional visions to ensure the adequate response when handling family violence cases. The project will be funded by UN organizations in Jordan (UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
On another level, NCFA is currently working on an assessment of the National Strategy for Family Protection against Violence which was prepared few years ago. The project aims to assess the attainment of goals and their alignment with national priorities, analyze the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation process, determine obstacles and available opportunities according to the pronounced pillars and activities, evaluate implementing bodies, determine institutional gaps at the national level, propose remedies, define relevant agency and institution roles and responsibilities according to the pillars of the strategic plan and reflect them in future plans for the five years to come. It is to be noted that the project will be funded by UNFPA.