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Terre des hommes launches project funded by German government to reduce child labour in the Governorate of Zarqa

Children sing national songs to welcome the guests

Children sing national songs to welcome the guests, © Tdh, Malik Khatabeh

08.05.2019 - Artikel

Amman, May 5. Under the patronage of Her Excellency Birgitta Siefker-Eberle, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Jordan, and Her Excellency Basma Ishaqat, Jordanian Minister of Social Development (MOSD), the international child rights organization Terre des hommes launched the project „Reduction of child labour in host communities in the governorate of Zarqa“, funded by the Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project will be implemented by a consortium of Terre des hommes Italy, Terre des hommes Germany and Terre des hommes Lausanne, in partnership with the Soldier Family Welfare Association and The Jordan Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD).

Children distribute advocacy messages about child labour
Children distribute advocacy messages about child labour© Tdh, Karim alosta

The root causes of school dropouts and child labor in Zarqa are a complicated combination of economic constraints, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of quality education, poor learning environment and violence in and around schools. Also, children are being forced into labor. In a densely populated place with a very high level of poverty, working children exposed to harmful labor in Zarqa have to be provided with specialized support.

The project ‘Reduction of Child Labor in host communities in the Governorate of Zarqa’, funded by The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aims to enhance the protection of vulnerable children and their families in the host communities in Zarqa from all forms of child labor through focusing on quality education, self-resiliency and access to specialized services. The project will focus on targeting vulnerable children aged 10-18, who are working, children at risk of dropping out of school and children who are victims of child protection issues.

Over the course of 20 months, the project aims at combating child labor through promoting quality education in a safe learning environment as well as specialized child protection mechanisms. Also, the project will focus on strengthening the capacity of child protection partners with an emphasis on child labor, early child marriage and sexual gender-based violence as well as capacity management to independently pursue child protection management. 

Dr. Bernd Kuzmits at the project kick-off
Dr. Bernd Kuzmits at the project kick-off© Tdh, Malik Khatabeh

Bernd Kuzmits, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Jordan, pointed out that the challenges of the ongoing refugee crisis have seriously impacted the social, economic, institutional and natural resources throughout Jordan, and have placed an immense strain on the public services of the country. Faced with a protracted crisis and economic constraints, refugees and residents of host communities are increasingly turning to negative coping mechanisms – including Child Labour. German support to the Child Protection sector aims to achieve several objectives at the same time: improving access to safe learning environments for all children in Jordan, improving access to specialized services for the most vulnerable children and families, and contributing to strengthening the capacity of local child protection actors to independently deliver quality child protection services.

Mahmoud Alhrout, Head of Juvenile and Social justice in MOSD highlighted that MOSD established a child labour department in 2016 to reduce the phenomenon, prepared a draft child protection framework in cooperation with ILO, and conducted a series of training programs on mechanisms and procedures for reducing child labor aimed to increase the capacity of staff. MOSD hopes that, through working in partnership with all governmental and non-governmental organizations, working children and their families will have better access to services, including access to safe education and psychosocial support based in a case management approach.

Bernd Kuzmits concluded that this launching event is a telling symbol for the anniversary of 60 years Development Cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is celebrated this year.

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