Center held a high-level roundtable consultation to present salient features of a comprehensive inter-sectoral communication strategy to address the issue of violence against children in Jordan. Center is designing the strategy for the United Nations Children Fund Jordan and will also support its implementation. The roundtable was held in partnership with the United Nations Children Fund and with support from the National Council for Family Affairs Jordan. The roundtable was held in a local hotel in Amman and heads of 20 organizations participated in the event. The Representative of the United Nations Fund for Children Mr. Robert Jenkins and H.E. Fadel Mohammed Al Humoud, Secretary General For the National Council For Family Affairs jointly chaired the roundtable and the guest of the honor was H.E. Minister of Health Professor Dr. Mahmoud Al-Sheyyab.
The participation of all key stakeholders in the roundtable consultation was a testament to their commitment to the cause of realization of child rights in Jordan. The roundtable consultation was a key step in brining key stakeholders together under one roof and developing consensus on a broad contours of the communication strategy.
The communication strategy will build upon the recent achievements the United Nations Children Fund and its government counterparts have made in addressing the issue of violence against children, especially in schools. The communication strategy will also closely study lessons from recent successful campaign to address the issue of violence against children. One such example is the Ma’an Campaign where all partners came together and made a visible dent in reducing violence by teachers against children.
There was an agreement among the participants that violence against children comes in many forms and is not just restrict to schools. There was also realization that violence against children is everywhere and a lot of it is hidden as it is behind walls and mostly from loved ones. The participants agreed on a broad aim of the Communication Strategy to address the issue of interpersonal violence against children, which is the most prevalent and widespread. The participants also agreed for broader scope of the strategy to address violence against children in any setting, be it place of residence, work or education, or in any form, physical, emotional or sexual and inflicted by anyone, be it a parent, caregivers, teachers or even peers.
There was a broad-based consensus among participants that addressing the issue of violence requires a holistic and a multifaceted response targeting the legal and policy framework, social norms, local systems, parent and teacher capacity and the scale-up of prevention and response services. The participants agreed that in order to root out violence against children there is a need to addressing the underlying causes and changing attitudes, norms and practices among individuals and communities that condone, accept and lead to such behaviors. It is expected of the communication strategy that it will help us in addressing some of these underlying causes to violence against children.
The UNICEF Representative informed participants that as part of the strategy and together with the National Council for Family Affairs, assistance would be provided to partner organizations in developing action plans and providing them with platform for joint and collaborative implementation. Furthermore, action plans will reflect strengths of each of the partner towards contributing to the goal of ending violence against children. In order to support this cause, UNICEF is committing resource for nationwide implementation of a 3-year multipronged Strategy.
The consultation ended with an agreement that the communication strategy can only have lasting and wide-ranging impact if it is implemented in a collaborative manner drawing upon strengths and resources of all potential partners. The partners agreed to join hands and committed their support to the implementation of the communication strategy.