World Day on Child Labor: First National Children's Conference in Jordan
On the 18th and 19th of June the first National Children’s Conference was held in Jordan for the occasion of World Day on Child Labor. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Labor in collaboration with Save the Children, ILO and UNICEF, with children participating from various schools, and the Municipal Council for Children and the Social Support Center in Jordan. At the end of their discussions, the children issued a declaration for the government. The declaration stated that:
· Child labor was a problem in Jordan, affecting children’s natural growth and depriving them of their basic rights to childhood.
· Among the main causes for child labor are the economic challenges and issues in the education system.
· The following changes are called for:
o The improvement of school infrastructure.
o The improvement of the working conditions of the teaching staff, to allow them to deliver better services.
o A better integration of the schools into the community.
o To reinforce the compulsory nature of education by the creation of a penal code.
o The participation of children at platforms that discuss child related issues.
The latter was echoed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Labor during his closing speech saying “I look forward to see the children represented at the meetings of the National Committee on Child Labor.”
The Save the Children Promising Futuresproject contributed to the conference by presenting a series of photos produced by the talented Dutch photographer Chris de Bode, representing the dreams of working children for their future. The photos were exhibited during the two days of the conference and explained by the children themselves. The exhibition is the start of a big awareness campaign that will be officially launched in September 2013.