The Website is Under Construction

This is beta version of ARDD's website

الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Legal professionals evaluate the draft social development law of 2023 and call for organizing social work and defining concepts related to it


Between the need to update the Ministry of Social Development law, in force since 1956, and trying to overcome the gaps in it, there is an additional need today -with the presentation of the Ministry’s draft law for the year 2023- to unify and clarify the terms, definitions, and provisions included in the law, as well as the importance of differentiating between means of subsistence, empowerment, care, and  protection in their traditional and international sense.

For this end, and to promote constructive dialogue between stakeholders to discuss the challenges and solutions of social work issues in Jordan, the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), within the framework of its community dialogue series implemented within the Access to Justice Program, held a panel discussion entitled: “Evaluating the Draft Social Development Law for 2023”, Wednesday, November 29, 2023, moderated by the Legal Advisor at ARDD, Rami Qwaider.

Legal Advisor and former President of the Legislation and Opinion Bureau, Fidaa Al-Hmoud, indicated the need for this law, which ensures improving the quality of life for the groups in need and providing them with protection and care services in a fair manner, stressing the importance of framing and professionalizing social work, controlling the fundraising process, promoting the values of social responsibility, and encouraging the private sector to participate in achieving social development.

However, this assertion, which Al-Hmoud sees as an urgent necessity, is offset by the existence of many gaps in the draft law in terms of using the texts and terminology contained therein without a clear interpretation, which is reflected in the goal for which the law is being updated, and that is to build the Ministry’s capacity and rectify the social protection file within it, as well as the licenses granted to organizations, according to Al-Hamoud.

Al-Hmoud also pointed out that the groups covered by the new draft law are “the elderly, children in need of care and protection, juveniles, ‘the unhoused’, beggars, women at risk, victims of human trafficking crimes, people with disabilities, members of the local community, in addition to any category specified by the Ministry, as stated in the provisions of Article 4 of the draft law.”

Al-Hmoud then went on to explain that the draft law included strategic key points that the ministry will work on, most notably: the profession of social work, controlling the system of collecting donations, and setting appropriate legislative frameworks for offices, facilities, centers, and shelters that provide social welfare services, monitoring, and supervision.

For her part, CEO of ARDD, Samar Muhareb, stressed the importance of highlighting and improving the draft law by putting it up for discussion, in order to listen to the opinions and observations of all the relevant authorities and make sure it corresponds to public interest, especially with the growing severe economic crises and the expansion of poverty and unemployment that now affect large segments in the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, discussions took place among the participants in the session, which focused primarily on clarifying the definitions of care and social protection services contained in the draft law, in addition to empowering and qualifying workers in the Ministry of Social Development to deal with the various programs provided by the Ministry in an institutional and accurate manner, criticizing at the same time the series of penalties set by the draft law in case of violating the provisions of the law, specifically those who practice the profession of social work without a license, which ranged from a fine to doubling the fine or imprisonment in some cases, while imposing double fines on those who employ an unlicensed person in the field of social work, especially in case of repeated offences.

The participants pointed out that the fifth article of the law stipulates that anyone who collects donations or announces fundraising campaigns without obtaining a license from the Ministry of Social Development shall be punished by a fine of no less than 500 dinars and no more than 2,000 dinars, and in the event of repetition, imprisonment for a period of no less than six months and no more than two years, with the maximum fine.

Furthermore, the draft law includes a provision that allows for the application of any more severe penalty contained in any other legislation. Any legal person who collects donations or announces fundraising campaigns without a license from the Ministry shall be punished by a fine of no less than 1,000 dinars and no more than 5,000 dinars, with the maximum fine in the event of repetition.

The participants called for the need to follow a cooperative approach  between the Ministry, government institutions, civil society, and initiative creators, and to develop policies to combat poverty and unemployment, as well as reconsidering  the method of collecting  the resources of the Program Support Fund within the Ministry, in order to contribute to organizing the foundations of social work and the identification of special concepts, so that the law comes out in the best possible form without affecting the groups benefiting from it.