Children in Jordan are at risk of abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Syrian refugee children in Jordan’s host communities and refugee camps require support as many of them have experienced distress as a result of the conflict in their home country. Children who are most at risk are out-of-school children, child labourers, girls forced into domestic work or child marriage, children with specific needs, and survivors of abuse.
Children at Risk
In Jordan, the legal age for work is 15 with specific limitations such as working hours and job type. Yet many vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian children take on responsibilities to help ease their family’s financial burden by engaging in child labour. Whether in the camps or in host communities, child labour exposes Syrians and Jordanians to abuse and exploitation because the child is not legally employed.
One of the key concerns around the safety of children in Jordan is that violence is generally underreported, especially among girls as they are expected to stay quiet to uphold the honour of their families.
A system to protect children has been supported and funded by the international community to serve the refugee population, but these services have yet to be integrated into the national system. This leaves the most vulnerable children without the necessary support from their communities.
Keeping Children Safe
Plan International Jordan supports children, young people, caregivers and community members to keep children safe in Jordan. Our work creates safe communities that are free of violent and exploitative harmful practices and that are conducive to children's development.
Our work in host communities and in Azraq refugee camp include providing life skills and psychosocial support to help children with decision-making skills and emotional growth. Children at our child-friendly centres also participate in music, sport, art, storytelling and reading which provide safe spaces for self-expression and exploration of hobbies and interests.
An important part of our work to keep vulnerable children safe is working with parents and the community to raise awareness and change perceptions on child protection. Our child protection committees are composed of members of the host and camp communities to be advocates for children’s safety.
Child-friendly help and protection desks provide key information on child abuse and immediately refer cases of abuse or exploitation to the relevant services. We also set up peer support networks to assist in the integration of Syrians into Jordanian society to create a safer community for everyone.