News : Good practice

NCHR calls for action on child labour

Graphic: Girls pose for a photo after a consultation with the NCHR

The National Centre for Human Rights has urged the government to pass legislation to address the rapidly growing incidence of child labour in Jordan.

The National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) has urged the government to pass legislation to address the rapidly growing incidence of child labour in Jordan.

The call follows a year-long program – supported by the APF – that included a review of data on child labour, as well as consultations with children, parents, civil society organisations and government agencies in the different regions of the Kingdom.

The NCHR reported that incidence of child labour has "spread significantly and its impact has intensified in the major cities, especially Amman and Zarqa".

This rise has been driven by challenging economic and social conditions in the country, the NCHR said, as well as the large numbers of refugees currently living in Jordan.

Not only does employment deprive children of their right to education, a significant number work under dangerous conditions which can place them at risk of serious injuries and life-long disabilities, the NCHR noted.

The NCHR also reported that some child workers are subjected to physical and psychological abuse.


Graphic: Boys pose for a photo after a consultation with the NCHR


To counter these "grave violations", the NCHR has called for:

  • The government to review and pass legislation in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and key ILO Conventions on children and labour
  • Improved data collection processes to track child labour across different parts of the country and across industries/workplaces
  • Community education programs to counter the drivers of child labour, to be delivered through civil society organisations, imams and the media
  • Greater emphasis by supervisory authorities, such as the Ministry of Labour, to identify and respond to instances of child labour
  • Strategies to combat the trend of young people dropping out of school to enter the labour market.

A baseline study to document the extent of child labour in the Kingdom was undertaken by the NCHR, in partnership with the ILO, the University of Jordan's Center for Strategic Studies, the Ministry of Labor and the Department of Statistics.

The most recent statistics indicate that over 76,000 children were working in the Kingdom in 2016, of whom 45,000 were performing tasks under hazardous conditions.

The NCHR also held 25 community consultations across the Northern, Central and Southern regions, where they were able to talk directly with children and their families, along with other groups, about the different factors that led children into work at an early age.

The importance of promoting education as a pathway out of poverty was a common topic of discussion during these consultations, including the need to develop strategies to encourage children to stay in school or learn trades at vocational centres.

Date: 17 July 2018


People walking through a crowded market in Amman

In June 2018, the Ministry of Labour launched an inspection campaign to combat child labour within industrial, service and commercial establishments.

The month-long campaign had a particular focus on children and young people employed in "dangerous, burdensome or harmful work spaces", the Jordan Times reported.


Image credits

  1. Girls pose for a photo after a consultation with the NCHR - Jordan National Centre for Human Rights
  2. Boys pose for a photo after a consultation with the NCHR - Jordan National Centre for Human Rights
  3. People walking through a crowded market in Amman - APF