Jordon Finally Passes Child Rights Bill With Heavy Parliamentary Majority

Jordan

The Jordanian government has finally passed the child rights bill after amendments. Strangely, the bill that was proposed in July sparked a debate amongst the social media over it undermining Islam.

Children and women in many Middle Eastern countries continue to be marginalized with their rights ignored. The draft has obviously been passed through support from the 130 strong tribal lead members of the parliament who have had if not too much then some leeway into social legislation. Getting the stamp of approval from the formal King is said to be simply be symbolic.

Apparently, the clause that gives immunity to parents for hitting their children and was prohibited was removed. The bill has somehow received a very large majority, showing the larger support for reformation and respect for the rights of children too.

Read | New Jordanian Children’s Bill Hits Roadblock On ‘Subversion To Islam’ Claims

Rights defined under the bill are essentially based on the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Jordon had signed in 1991 and ratified in 2006. The kingdom, along with other Islamic countries, registered reservations about clauses that allow adoption from outside the child’s home country and allow them the choice of religion.

Another clause was changed to give the male guardian, not the mother, more say in deciding on the education of the child. Clauses on respecting children’s privacy were largely kept.

Social Affairs Minister Ayman Al Mufleh said passing the law “enhances Jordan’s commitment to its international obligations”. In August, the National Council for Family Affairs had said that the legislation to Child Rights Bill conformed to a UN convention the country signed up to 16 years ago.

There was no such indication for any disrespect to Islam, and clearly rejects any criticism that the planned law is “too western” and “subverts Islam”.

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