Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects, children in poor and vulnerable situations in Jordan are more prone to become victims of domestic violence and exploitation because of frustrations within the household (ARDD 2020). The diminished ability to protect children against physical and mental domestic abuse during the months of confinement has been of significant concern for providers of child protection services (Human Rights Watch 2020).
In response to the challenges that hinder efforts to provide protection for children and enable them to access justice, and as part of its legal aid and justice sector reform program and of its efforts to ensure that children have wide access to justice, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) is implementing the “Enhancement of the protective environment of Syrian and Jordanian boys and girls ” project. The project is carried out in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the period December 2020-end of October 2021 in Amman, Irbid and Zarqa.
ARDD considers that better child protection may be achieved if based on the following three pillars: protection of children in the outside the house environment; protection of children at home by fostering a positive family atmosphere and offering guidance to parents and enhancing their parenting skills; protection of children through improved laws and policies, in line with legislation pertaining to children’s universal rights at national and international levels.
As such, the project aims to contribute to creating a better protective environment for Syrian and Jordanian children at risk, including children with disabilities living in the most vulnerable communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the provision of legal services and cash support.
The project focuses mainly on the following aspects:
• Providing legal support through legal services, litigation, and mediation services.
• Taking preventive measures through providing children, parents, or caregivers with child protection tools and knowledge.
• Taking protection measures through:
– Referring cases identified during legal support activities using the inter-agency referral mechanism, for multi-sectoral support.
– Providing cash for legal support to the most vulnerable beneficiaries.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures that there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
ARDD is committed, through its programs and efforts, to working and advocating for a safe environment for children to grow up in, and to creating a child-friendly justice system.