Jordanian Parliament passes child rights bill after changes

Some members were concerned about parts of the draft law, which eventually passed with a 'very large majority'

Jordanian school children play while they are in a park during a pic-nic day in Amman, Jordan on April 19, 2010. (Salah Malkawi for The National)
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Jordan's Parliament on Monday passed a child rights bill with amendments, state media said.

The draft law, submitted by the government in July, sparked controversy mostly on social media that it undermined Islam.

All significant powers in Jordan rest with King Abdullah II. Passing laws is mostly a formality. But the mostly tribal, 130-member parliament has some leeway when it comes to social legislation.

Official TV said the law passed with a "very large" majority.

Readings of the bill showed that a clause that prohibited giving immunity to parents for hitting their children was removed.

Another clause was changed to give the male guardian, not the mother, more say in deciding on the education of the child.

Clauses on respecting children's privacy were largely kept.

Social Affairs Minister Ayman Al Mufleh said passing the law "enhances Jordan's commitment to its international obligations".

The law is partly based on the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Jordan signed in 1991 and ratified in 2006.

The kingdom, along with other Islamic countries, registered reservations about clauses that allow adoption from outside the child’s home country and allow them the choice of religion.

Updated: June 19, 2023, 12:27 PM