World Day against Child Labour

Jordan pilots National Framework to Combat Child Labour

Jordan pilots National Framework to Combat Child Labour with the help of a national database.

News | 11 June 2013
Contact(s): Nisreen Bathish Abou Ragheb, Jordan Communications Officer International Labour Organization; (e):; (m): +962 79 90 480 12
AMMAN (ILO News) – The Ministry of Labour, in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF, has launched a series of activities to pilot the National Framework to Combat Child Labour in three governorates – Amman, Zarqa and Mafraq.

Adopted in 2011, the National Framework coordinates efforts to combat child labour among the Ministries of Labour, Education and Social Development to effectively tackle child labour in the Kingdom.

“The National Framework is a key policy tool to strengthen case management, including data collection and documentation, of child labour,” said Hamada Abu Nijmeh, Secretary General of the Ministry of Labour during a joint press conference between the Ministry of Labour, the ILO and UNICEF on Tuesday (June 11).

Labour inspectors identify individual cases through visits to work sites, referring them to relevant directorate officials for education and social assessments. Cases are also registered in an integrated National Database on Child Labour.

The database allows ministries to monitor and track children through the system and to follow up more consistently on service provision.

In addition to supporting the development of the database, the ILO is providing technical support to Government, social partners and civil society on the practical implementation of the National Framework as part of the US-Department of Labor funded project “Moving Towards a Child Labour Free Jordan.”

“Countries that are serious about tackling child labour must develop robust and coherent policy frameworks that cover the minimum age of employment, compulsory education, social protection and an employment strategy that embraces the concept of decent work,” explained Frank Hagemann, Deputy Director of the ILO’s Regional Office for the Arab States. “Through the implementation of the National Framework, Jordan is demonstrating its commitment to the protection of its children and can be a model for other Arab countries.”

As well as working with workers’ and employers’ organizations, the ILO also supports the wider efforts of the National Committee on Child Labour, which brings together other key government ministries and departments, local government and civil society, assisted by UN agencies and international organizations.

UNICEF Deputy Representative in Jordan Michele Servadei highlighted drivers of child labour such as social and cultural factors, poverty, and the economic environment that families live in.

"Beyond policy changes and law enforcement, rooting out child labour can only be achieved if vulnerable families receive some form of income support, and if parents are educated on the benefits of education and the grave risks child labour poses. Access to formal and non-formal education also needs to be addressed," said Servadei.

The Head of the Child Labour Unit at the Ministry of Labour Shireen al-Taieb said the implementation of the Framework was an evolving process.

“We still have a long way to go,” said al-Taieb. “We consider the challenges faced during this pilot phase as an opportunity to learn and to use that knowledge to improve and expand our response over time.”

A National Child Labour Survey conducted in 2007 found that there were an estimated 33,000 child labourers in Jordan, a figure which has likely increased since the onset of the global economic crisis and with the rise in Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan.

‘’Our efforts to deal with child labour amongst Syrian refugees are still at an early stage but we are moving to address the situation. Our current estimates, and these are only estimates, indicate that there are 160,000 Syrian workers and nearly 30,000 Syrian children engaged in child labour,’’ Abu Nijmeh said.

The launch event is part of a series of regional and global activities to mark the annual World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June, the date of the unanimous adoption in 1999 of ILO Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition of the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

First National Children’s Conference on Child Labour June 18-19
From 18 to 19 June 2013, the 1st National Children’s Conference on Child Labour will be held in the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman with the support of the Ministry of Labour and the National Committee on Child Labour. The two-day event will facilitate discussions by children, including working children and former child labourers, on causes and consequences and possible interventions. The conference will conclude with a declaration on child labour to be submitted to decision-makers who will engage with the children on 19 June.

Towards a Child Labour Free Jordan
The ILO project ‘Towards a Child Labour Free Jordan”, funded by the US Department of Labor, is the first of its kind to be undertaken by the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), with its focus on supporting the government and national partners in the practical implementation of policy frameworks relevant to child labour.