Officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a semi-arid country in Western Asia that is home to 11 million people. Referred to an “oasis of stability”, Jordan’s population includes more than 3 million refugees fleeing from conflicts from Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. The arrival of refugees has placed substantial strain on national resources, public services, and infrastructure.
Since more than half of the country consists of desert, around 80% of Jordan’s population lives in urban areas.
Similarly, around 80% of refugees are based in urban areas, where they are amongst the most vulnerable as their access to aid is not guaranteed.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in the Jordan since 1986.
Of the 150,000 children engaged in child labour in Jordan, at least 60% work in dangerous environments. This includes working on the streets, operating dangerous machinery and lifting heavy loads. They work long hours, and /or in unhealthy living conditions.
Poverty is a main reason why children have to work. Most of them ultimately drop out of school. Child labour robs children of their childhood. It deprives them of their education and rights, exposes them to violence and to physical and mental harm.
Around 16% of Jordanian children are badly affected by the absence of supervision and nurturing by their parent. This includes physical and emotional neglect, being unable to care for a child or provide for their basic needs, and exposure to physical violence.
Many children are left feeling that their parents do not care about them and/or that they are worthless. This significantly impacts their future.
Poverty is high in Jordan: 16% of the Jordanian population lives below the national poverty line. Around 23% of the population is unemployed.
Poverty is mostly found in rural areas, where households are bigger and there are fewer opportunities to make a living. The problem is significantly worse for children from families who have moved to Jordan as refugees: 85% live below the national poverty line.