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Jordan joins the world in commemorating the International Day of Innocent Children Victims
Jordan joins the world in commemorating the International Day of Innocent Children Victims
Friday, 4 June 2021

Jordan and the world commemorate today Friday the International Day of Innocent Children Victims and which occurs on the 4th of June every year. The General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted this day since the 19th of August 1982 during its emergency special session concerning the Palestinian cause and which was described as terrifying for a big number of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese children.
The commemoration of this day aims at recognizing the pain children all over the world suffer from for being victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse, along with committing to protecting the rights of children, working under the guidance of the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and recognizing the pain children suffer form in the cases where armed conflict arises. Children are the most vulnerable members of society and the hardest-hit due to their vulnerability to the six most common violations and which are “recruitment of child soldiers and using them for war, murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, attacks on schools and hospitals, prevention of access to humanitarian aid”. This day also comes as a reminder for individuals and organizations all over the world to get to know the effects of all brutal attacks on children.
The Secretary General of the Higher Population Council Dr. Abla Amawi affirmed that the Council’s concern in innocent children victims of aggression comes from its concern in human rights first and children’s rights second, as well as its concern in achieving the sixteenth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely the ending the ill-treatment, exploitation and trafficking of humans and all kinds of abuse and torture of children.
On the other hand, she also indicated that the Higher Population Council pays particular attention to refugee groups as Jordan is considered one of the biggest host communities for them. Studies indicate that there around 57 nationalities in Jordan, and the 2015 Population and Housing Survey indicated that the Syrians make up the biggest number of these nationalities numbered at 1,265,514 people, Iraqis numbered at 130,911 people and Palestinians at 634,182 people. The UNHCR has ranked Jordan the second country with the most refugees in the world.
The numbers of the Department of Statistics indicate that the number of children below the age of 19 in Jordan in 2020 is around 4.7 million and which constitutes over 40 percent of the population. UNICEF has also indicated that around 30 percent of those children are non-Jordanians, including a number of refugees from neighboring countries.
A 2018 study conducted by UNICEF on the condition of Syrian refugee children in Jordan has shown that 45 percent of children between the ages of 0-5 do not receive proper health services including vaccinations and services for those with disabilities. The study also showed that 38 percent of children are not enrolled or have dropped out of school, due to reasons that have to do with distance, cost, the lack of places for them to attend school at and bullying. 16 percent of children between the ages of 0-5 do not have a birth certificate which exposes them to challenges and extra dangers in the future. Children between the ages of 6-17 mainly face the challenges of child labor and violence.
Amawi explained that UNRWA data on Palestinian refugee children in Jordan shows that it provides educational services for over 118,000 student studying at 169 UNRWA schools located all around the Kingdom, and it also provides 47 training courses for over 3081 students studying in one of its vocational training centers. UNRWA provides care for children through stages of the life cycle as well, as it carries out specific interventions to meet the health requirements for newborns, infants under a year old, children under 5 years old and school-aged children. Preventative and curative care are equally provided with a special focus on prevention. The services include assessing the health of newborns, proper childcare, periodic medical examinations, vaccinations, monitoring growth and nutrition, prescribing micronutrient supplements, dental and oral health prevention, school health services and treatment of sick children which includes referrals to specialized care.
A report by the Immigration and Refugee Board has shown that Jordan currently faces big three-dimensional pressures and which is represented by the general emergency health situation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic effects of the global recession and the increasing number of Syrian refugees, many of who have been living in Jordan for close to around 10 years.
Amawi also explained that, globally, a study by the International Peace Institute has indicated that in 2019 two thirds of the world’s children live in conflict-torn countries and around 426,000,000 live a distance less than 50 kilometers away from active fighting. In the case of refugees, the UNHCR has indicated that children make up over half the number of refugees in the world.
The United Nations indicates that the violence against children affects over a billion children all over the world and costs societies over 7 trillion dollars a year. It also indicated that 50 percent of the world’s children suffer from violence every year and child dies of violence somewhere in the world every 5 minutes.
Amawi indicated that armed conflicts affect all population groups, as it results in the spread of death and diseases among non-combatant civilians. These diseases include a big wide range of disorders, which range from disabilities to negative effects on mental health and which some of last for a long time. She also showed that these diseases continue after the armed conflict due to the damage caused to the infrastructure that supports health in society, including food and water provision systems, medical care and general health services, sanitation and cleanliness, transportation, communication and electric power.
She also added that a number of aspects of war hugely affect women and girls, as according to recent studies on the life expectancy of unarmed civilians who suffered under armed conflicts, women are the first victims of war between adults and war widows and women who seek refuge due to war are especially prone to poverty, disease and death after armed conflict.
In the current context, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic narrows safeguarding mechanisms on children and which in their turn are more fragile during emergencies and armed conflicts. This pandemic had a big effect on children in conflicts, as 21 out of the 26 Global Protection Cluster (which is a network of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations and the United Nations (UN) agencies who engage in protection work in humanitarian crises including armed conflict, climate change and natural disaster) reported an escalation in political conflict or instability since the pandemic’s outbreak.
The Higher Population Council has affirmed that the continuing of violations against children during armed conflict will have far-reaching consequences on future generations. Therefore, the Council recommends requiring countries to sign and fully carry out the Optional Protocol to the CRC on children’s participation in armed conflict, as well as meeting the short-term and long-term needs of children after armed conflict ends, such as social reintegration and carrying out mental and social rehabilitation programs.