Distr.

GENERAL

HRI/CORE/1/Add.18/Rev.1
3 January 1994

ENGLISH
Original: ARABIC
Core document forming part of the reports of the States Parties : Jordan. 03/01/94.
HRI/CORE/1/Add.18/Rev.1. (Core Document)




CORE DOCUMENT FORMING PART OF THE REPORTS

OF STATES PARTIES

JORDAN


[25 May 1993]


I. GENERAL


A. The land and its people

1. At the end of 1991, Jordan's population was estimated at 3,888,000 persons (2,005,400 of whom were male) distributed among the various governorates of the Kingdom in the manner shown in table 1 annexed hereto.* According to the statistics for 1991, 3,029,000 were living in urban areas and 858,000 in rural areas. The expression "urban areas" refers to settlements with a population of 5,000 or more.

2. The country, which covers an area of 90,000 km2, has one of the world's highest population growth rates. According to the statistics, the natural population growth rate amounts to 3.8 per cent, with an annual rate of increase of 3.96 per cent. The proportion of males amounts to 52.4 per cent, as compared with 47.6 per cent in the case of females. Young persons under 18 years of age constitute 50.6 per cent of the total male population and 51.0 per cent of the total female population. Young persons under 15 years of age constitute 42.5 per cent of the total male population and 43.0 per cent of the total female population. Persons over 65 years of age constitute 2.9 per cent of the male and 2.4 of the female population. The urban proportion of the population amounts to 64.7 per cent due to the large expansion of the principal cities such as Amman, Irbid and Zarqa.

3. The population of Jordan is not evenly distributed throughout the country's territorial area. For example, more than half of the population lives in the capital, its suburbs and the Jordan Valley and it is noteworthy that the population density is higher in the north of the country, where it amounts to 58 persons per km2, and lower in the southern areas, with 15 persons per km2 at Karak and 8 at Ma'an. In the desert areas of which the largest part of the country consists (about 77 per cent of the total area of the East Bank), the population density is one person per km2.

4. Arabs constitute the majority of Jordan's population, accounting for 98 per cent of the total. The remainder are groups of non-Arab origin who arrived and settled in the country in the late 1870s. Most of these immigrants came from the area north of the Caucasus (Circassians, Shishan and Daghestanis), although others came from elsewhere (Armenians, Kurds, Turks, etc). In Jordan, the minorities enjoy complete freedom to exercise all their political, civil, social, economic, cultural and religious rights.

5. The religion of the State is Islam and its official language is Arabic (art. 2 of the Jordanian Constitution). However, a small proportion of the population, estimated at 3 per cent, are Christians.

6. The principal demographic indicators (vital statistics) for 1991 are as follows:

(a) The crude birth rate, which is defined as the number of births per 1,000 of the population during a single Gregorian year, amounted to about 34 in the middle of that year;

(b) The crude mortality rate, which is defined as the number of deaths per 1,000 of the population during a single Gregorian year, amounted to about 6 in the middle of that year;

(c) In 1991, the number of live births amounted to 150,177 (including 72,821 females) and the number of stillbirths amounted to 11,268 (including 4,510 females). The estimated population of the Kingdom by sex and age group in 1991 is shown in table 2 annexed hereto.*

7. Jordan is passing through a stage of its socio-economic development characterized by democratic and developmental transformation in all spheres with a view to the establishment of a new foundation for a firm socio-economic base that will further its progress and advancement and ensure a better life for its people in various fields, such as education, employment, health, etc., in a manner consistent not only with its socio-political ideology and philosophy, its aspirations and its humanitarian values but also with positive participation in mankind's progress towards peace and security for all.

8. In view of the country's limited economic and capital resources and the lack of stability in the region, where successive wars have burdened Jordan with considerable material and moral responsibilities, the Government is diligently endeavouring to rectify the socio-economic imbalance and achieve social justice and a decent life for all in keeping with the inherent historic aspirations of Arab-Islamic culture while, at the same time, benefiting from the experiences of nations which have overcome backwardness and achieved progress and a large degree of prosperity.


B. The economic situation in 1991

9. During 1991, and particularly in the second half of the year, there was an evident improvement in Jordan's economic performance and the Kingdom was able to resume the course of its development, albeit at rates that remained modest in comparison with those which prevailed in the 1970s. The Kingdom succeeded in recovering its monetary and financial stability after adapting to the new situation resulting from the Gulf crisis which led to the return of large numbers of Jordanian expatriates working in the Gulf States and resulted in the suspension of the flow of Arab aid to Jordan, as well as the loss of the traditional markets for some Jordanian exports.

10. The principal economic indicators reflected a notable improvement in 1991, particularly in regard to the stability of the foreign exchange rate for the dinar, the liquidity of the commercial banks and the establishment of a high level of foreign currency reserves. The Jordanian economy was also able to achieve positive growth rates in terms of real GDP, in addition to an improvement in the State's general budgetary performance due to the reduction in the financial deficit as a result of the growth in public income at rates which far exceeded the growth in public spending. The balance of payments also improved considerably as a result of the fact that a large number of Jordanians returning from abroad transferred their savings to the Kingdom.

11. The trends in the principal economic indicators in 1991 are summarized below:

(a) The gross domestic product at current factor cost rose by 7.7 per cent in 1991, as compared with a growth rate of 6.5 per cent in 1990. GDP at current market prices also rose by 7.1 per cent in 1991, as compared with 9.0 per cent in the previous year. GDP at constant factor cost rose by 1.0 per cent in 1991, as compared with a decline of 2.3 per cent in the previous year, and GDP at constant market prices also rose by 0.5 per cent, as compared with a slight decline of 0.1 per cent in 1990;

(b) In 1991, the general level of prices in the Kingdom rose at a notably slower rate and the cost-of-living index rose by 8.2 per cent, as compared with 16.1 per cent in 1990. This decline is attributable to the adoption of a number of monetary measures and policies, which were designed to maintain the stability of the dinar exchange rate, in addition to financial measures and policies, particularly those which reduced the customs dues on numerous consumer goods;

(c) In the light of the developments in regard to income and public spending, the ratio of income to GDP at current market prices rose from 35.8 per cent in 1990 to 38.8 per cent in 1991. The ratio of public spending to GDP also rose slightly to 39.8 per cent in 1991, as compared with 39.4 per cent in 1990. In addition to the above, the proportion of public spending that was covered by income increased from 90.9 per cent in 1990 to 97.6 per cent in 1991. The proportion of current expenditure that was covered by local income declined from 88.4 per cent in 1990 to 87.5 per cent in 1991. The ratio of local income to GDP remained at the same level as in the previous year (28.4 per cent), whereas the ratio of current expenditure to GDP rose from 32.1 per cent in 1990 to 32.4 per cent in 1991;

(d) The outstanding balance of Jordan's external debts (after deduction of repayments from the total value of the loans contracted) declined significantly by 8.9 per cent to 5,516.8 million dinars, as compared with 6,052.5 million dinars in 1990. This decline resulted from the cancellation of some loans that had been contracted, as well as the cancellation of some contracts for the lease of aircraft to Royal Jordanian and a rise in the repayment of external loans. This led to a decline in the ratio of the outstanding balance of external public debts to GDP, which amounted to 196.6 per cent as compared with 231.2 per cent in 1990;

(e) In 1991, the evident positive improvement in some of the principal items of the balance of payments led to a surplus of 464.2 million dinars in the basic balance, as compared with a surplus of 205.7 million dinars in 1990;

(f) The foreign commodity trade sector (national exports + imports) was affected by the events of the Gulf crisis and the economic developments resulting therefrom, which caused this sector, for the first time in several years, to decline by 1.2 per cent as compared with a growth rate of 32.5 per cent in 1990. This is attributable to a decline of 2.2 per cent in national exports and a decline of 0.9 per cent in imports. The foreign trade component of GDP therefore declined from 89.3 per cent in 1990 to 82.3 per cent in 1991. The per capita share of foreign trade also declined from 677.1 dinars in 1990 to 633.5 dinars in 1991.


C. Unemployment

12. The State is deeply concerned with the problem of unemployment, which has formed the subject of lengthy discussions at meetings of the National Assembly. The Government has endeavoured to provide the maximum possible number of employment opportunities for job-seekers in the government sector and has established a ministerial committee to deal with the phenomenon of unemployment. The Government has stressed the importance of rehabilitation and vocational training programmes and has set up a National Assistance Fund. The Ministry of Labour has expanded and streamlined its operations and was able to provide 6,300 employment opportunities in 1990, in addition to the 2,346 male and female employees who were appointed by the Civil Service Commission. However, the large number of graduates, particularly from academic educational institutions, aggravated the phenomenon of unemployment and the situation in the Arab region, and especially the Gulf crisis, led to a worsening of this problem due to the repatriation of large numbers of expatriates who had been working in the Gulf States. The return of those expatriates is likely to increase the number of unemployed persons in Jordan by about 60,000 and this figure is constantly rising as more persons return.

13. The number of employment applications filed with the Civil Service Commission in 1990 amounted to 47,555 from holders of various academic qualifications (university graduates and holders of intermediate college diplomas and certificates of secondary education). Of the total number of employment applications received in 1990, 68 per cent were submitted by females.

14. The percentage of persons under 15 years of age who joined the labour force was as follows:

Males 3.2 per cent of the total male population under 15 years of age;

Females 0.3 per cent of the total female population under 15 years of age.


D. Illiteracy

15. The Government has taken special measures to provide education opportunities, through evening and summer study programmes and vocational training courses, for all persons wishing to avail themselves of such opportunities. The Ministry of Education has opened centres for the eradication of illiteracy in various parts of the Kingdom and has established educational centres wherever a minimum of 15 potential students were living. This form of education is provided free of charge, and school books and stationery are also distributed free of charge.

16. In 1987, 22.82 per cent of the total population over 15 years of age were illiterate (12.85 per cent of the males and 33.44 per cent of the females). It is noteworthy that these figures are constantly declining as a result of the measures taken by the Government and the various institutions concerned with the eradication of illiteracy.


II. GENERAL POLITICAL STRUCTURE

17. Since the most ancient times, Jordan has been an area of human settlement and flourishing civilization which attracted numerous waves of Arab Semitic migration, the traces of whose civilizations can still be seen today. From the beginning of the twelfth century A.D., the area was governed by the Mamluk and Ottoman empires and, like neighbouring Arab countries, Jordan had local administrative councils in which the population participated. However, in the latter phases of Ottoman rule, the population suffered from discrimination, which induced it to protest, reject the Turanian policy and revolt against the form of government which that policy implied. That revolt was an inevitable result of the policy of Turkification, the widespread injustice, the deplorable economic situation, the increasing administrative corruption and the inability of the Ottoman State to maintain security and stability in its Arab provinces. The aim of the national revival plan, which was inherent in the large-scale Arab Revolt that broke out on 6 October 1916, was to unite the eastern Arab countries in a single Arab State comprising Iraq, the Hijaz and Syria, including Jordan and Palestine.

18. Accordingly, on 5 October 1918, Emir Faisal announced the formation of the first Arab Government at Damascus. However, on 22 October of the same year, Great Britain issued a declaration dividing historical Syria into three areas pursuant to the Sykes-Picot Agreement concluded in 1916 and in order to enable Great Britain to fulfil its promise, made to the Zionist movement, to establish a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine. However, this division was rejected by the representatives of the people of the eastern part of the Arab world at the General Syrian Congress which met at Damascus on 6-8 March 1920. They affirmed the unity and independence of Syria within its natural boundaries and acknowledged Faisal I as its king. Unfortunately, Great Britain and France did not recognize the will of the nation and, at the San Remo Conference on 25 April 1920, agreed to place Syria and Lebanon under French mandate and Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan under British mandate. In spite of Arab opposition to these imperialist schemes, they were forcibly imposed as a fait accompli as a result of the military superiority which the colonial powers obtained over the Arab freedom-fighters in numerous battles, the last of which was fought at Maisalun on 24 July 1920.

19. British forces withdrew from all Syrian territory shortly before the collapse of the Arab Government in Syria and the French subsequently occupied Damascus although their forces did not enter Jordanian territory, which remained free from foreign military occupation. When it was decided to place Jordan under British influence in accordance with the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British High Commissioner in Palestine delegated a number of his officers to administer the various parts of Transjordan.

20. On 29 March 1921, the British reached a political settlement with Emir Abdullah under the terms of which the first unified national Government was formed under his leadership in Transjordan. Prominent personalities from the Istiqlal (Independence) party participated in that Government, the establishment of which provided a clear indication of the depth of Arab national feeling among the country's population. However, the next four years witnessed a bitter conflict between the new Government's national aspirations and endeavours to liberate Syria, on the one hand, and the interests of Great Britain and France in the region. In the latter part of August 1924, this conflict culminated in the imposition of British mandatory control over the country's administrative, financial and military affairs. Although Great Britain recognized the independence of the Emirate of Transjordan on 25 May 1923 and promised to conclude an agreement defining the relationship between the two countries and clarifying Transjordan's constitutional status, the first British-Transjordanian treaty concluded on 20 February 1928 failed to meet Jordanian demands for an independent and fully sovereign State. The treaty aroused the indignation and anger of the Jordanian people and prompted them to hold their first national congress to consider the provisions of the treaty and agree on a political plan of action.

21. The congress, which was held at Amman on 25 July 1928, regarded itself as the legitimate representative of the Jordanian people and established an Executive Committee to direct the Jordanian national movement. The "Jordanian National Charter" which it issued was the first national political document containing a clearly-defined programme which defined the principles on which the Emirate's current political status should be based. The main principles were:

(a) The Emirate of Transjordan is an independent sovereign Arab State with recognized natural boundaries. It is administered by an independent constitutional Government headed by H.R.H. Emir Abdullah ibn al-Hussein and, after him, by his successors;

(b) The principle of the mandate is recognized only in the form of pure technical assistance in the country's interest;

(c) The Balfour Declaration calling for the establishment of a national homeland for the Jews is regarded as contrary to the pledges made by Great Britain;

(d) Any election of an Attorney General in Transjordan in a manner inconsistent with the principles of proper representation and on the basis of the Government's non-accountability to Parliament shall not be regarded as an election reflecting the will and national sovereignty of the nation in accordance with constitutional principles;

(e) Any military enlistment that is not decreed by a constitutional and accountable Government is rejected on the ground that such enlistment forms an integral part of national sovereignty.

22. These important principles guided the Jordanian people's political struggle for many subsequent years until the conclusion of the second British-Jordanian Treaty on 17 June 1946, under the terms of which Great Britain recognized the independence of Transjordan under the name of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

23. On 25 May 1946, the Jordanian Legislative Assembly met and decided unanimously to declare Jordan a fully independent State with a hereditary monarchy and a representative system of government. It also decided to swear allegiance to King Abdullah ibn al-Hussein as the constitutional monarch and head of the Jordanian State and to approve the corresponding amendment to the Jordanian Basic Law. In 1950, the Jordanian National Assembly decided to approve the unification of the two banks of the Jordan within the framework of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country continued to develop its political and institutional structures and King Talal I promulgated the new Jordanian Constitution after its adoption by the National Assembly in January 1952. The Constitution stipulated that the Jordanian people formed part of the Arab nation, that the system of government in the Kingdom was a constitutional monarchy and that the nation was the source of authority.

24. On 11 August 1952, King Hussein acceded to the throne of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and, when His Majesty assumed his constitutional powers on 2 May 1953, the democratic process began to be consolidated in the country. The phase of popular participation was characterized by a general trend towards greater freedom and the development and modernization of the State's institutions. In 1954, the Constitution was amended in order to further consolidate the process of democratization. Under the terms of this amendment, which entered into force on 1 November 1955, the Government became accountable to the House of Representatives, to which it was obliged to submit its statement of ministerial policy for a vote of confidence.

25. On 1 March 1956, H.M. King Hussein Arabized the army command and dismissed its British officers. This step constituted a considerable achievement which affirmed the concept of national Arab sovereignty.

26. In the latter part of 1956, the first Jordanian parliamentary elections were held on a multiparty political basis and a parliamentary Government was formed under which the Arab Solidarity Pact was signed in January 1957. The British-Jordanian Treaty was denounced on 13 March of the same year and the British forces left the country. However, this stage was short-lived, since the democratic experiment ran into difficulties for various internal and external reasons. When Israel launched its war against the Arab States on 5 June 1967, Jordan was obliged to enter the war by virtue of its commitment to the Pact of the League of Arab States and the Arab Joint Defence Treaty. Israel's occupation of the West Bank of the Kingdom, as well as the Golan and Sinai, was a crushing blow that had a severe impact on all aspects of life in Jordan and the Arab World as a whole.

27. By virtue of its stability, the increasing general political awareness of its citizens and the tremendous socio-economic changes that had taken place in the country, Jordan entered a new phase in the mid-1970s during which significant progress was made, particularly through the implementation of a number of major production projects and completion of most of the Kingdom's infrastructure. The economy also achieved high rates of growth and the education system was expanded considerably.

28. Since his accession to the Jordanian throne, H.M. King Hussein has consistently sought to safeguard the Constitution and promote the concept of democracy. However, parliamentary life in Jordan reached a critical turning-point due to the circumstances of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967 and the Arab and international situation.

29. On 31 July 1988, Jordan announced its decision to sever its legal and administrative links with the West Bank. The decision was taken in accordance with the wishes of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the prevailing Arab conviction that such a step would help to support the struggle of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination on their national soil.

30. The general elections held in the latter part of 1989 constituted the cornerstone for the process of democratization in which they heralded a new phase. This was accompanied by a considerable increase in political activity in which everyone participated.

31. The Jordanian State is a constitutional and democratic State in the modern sense of the term; the State belongs to all its citizens and derives its strength from its declared intention to put into practice the principles of equality, justice and equal opportunity and to provide ample scope for the Jordanian people to participate in decision-making concerning their affairs in such a way as to ensure that citizens have peace of mind, confidence in the future, a desire to safeguard the State's institutions and a sense of pride in their citizenship. This is a constitutional State which is committed to the principle of the rule of law and derives its legitimacy, power and effectiveness from the free will of the people. All its authorities are committed to providing the legal, judicial and administrative guarantees needed for the protection of human rights, human dignity and fundamental freedoms, the principles of which were firmly established by Islam and confirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the international covenants and conventions adopted by the United Nations in this regard.

32. The main fundamental principles on which a constitutional State is based are:

(a) A working commitment to the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Constitution on the part of the three authorities, within the framework of the precedence of right and justice;

(b) A commitment to the principle of the rule of law, under the full supervision of an independent judicial authority;

(c) A commitment to the exercise of democracy and to the principles and requirements of social justice;

(d) The imperative requirement that legislation in general, and legislation concerning political parties, elections and publications in particular, must respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens;

(e) Adoption of the method of democratic dialogue to express opinion;

(f) The need for all governmental institutions to fulfil their duty when dealing with citizens and bodies corporate, whom they should serve on a basis of full equality and non-exploitation.

33. The general political structure is based on the following principles:

(a) The system of government in Jordan is parliamentary, with a hereditary monarchy (art. 1 of the Constitution);

(b) The people are the source of authority, which they exercise in the manner specified in the Constitution (art. 24). Articles 25, 26 and 27 stipulate as follows:

(i) Legislative authority is vested in the National Assembly and the King. The National Assembly consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives;

(ii) Executive authority is vested in the King and exercised by his Ministers in accordance with the Constitution;

(iii) Judicial authority is exercised by the various types and levels of courts, all the judgements of which are handed down in accordance with the law and in the name of the King.

34. With regard to the executive authority (the Government), H.M. the King appoints and dismisses or accepts the resignation of the Prime Minister and appoints, dismisses, or accepts the resignation of other Ministers on the basis of a recommendation by the Prime Minister (art. 35 of the Constitution). The Council of Ministers usually consists of the Prime Minister and such number of Ministers as necessity and the public interest may demand. The Council of Ministers is entrusted with the conduct of all affairs of State, whether internal or external, other than those which are entrusted under the Constitution or any other legislative enactment to any other person or body (arts. 41 and 45 of the Constitution).

35. The powers of the Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Council of Ministers are defined in regulations promulgated by the Council of Ministers and approved by the King (art. 45, para. 2, of the Constitution). The Prime Minister and the Ministers are jointly accountable to the House of Representatives for the general policy of the State (art. 51) and a vote of confidence in the Government or any of its Ministers may be required of the House of Representatives (art. 53, para. 1, of the Constitution).


III. GENERAL LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR ENSURING THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

36. The National Charter defines the concept of a constitutional State and political pluralism. It regards a constitutional State as a democratic State which is committed to the principle of the rule of law, derives its legitimacy, power and effectiveness from the free will of the people and ensures that all its authorities respect the legal, judicial and administrative safeguards needed to protect human rights, human dignity and fundamental freedoms. In a clear reference to the importance of the practical application of these principles and rules, the Charter stipulates that the Jordanian State is a constitutional and democratic State in the modern sense of the term; the State belongs to all its citizens, regardless of any differences in their views and opinions, and derives its strength from its declared intention to put into practice the principles of equality, justice and equal opportunity and to provide ample scope for the Jordanian people to participate in decision-making concerning all their affairs.

37. In order to consolidate the democratic structure of the State and Jordanian society, the Charter indicates that efforts must be made to achieve the following objectives:

(a) The establishment, under the terms of a special legislative act, of an independent administrative tribunal to inspect and control administrative departments, monitor the conduct of their personnel and submit reports to the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the laws and regulations in force, without prejudice to the independence and jurisdiction of the courts of law;

(b) The establishment, under the terms of a special legislative act, of an independent body to modernize and update legislation;

(c) The establishment of a Constitutional Court to interpret the provisions of the Constitution, adjudicate in disputes and appeals concerning the constitutionality of laws and regulations and settle constitutional problems referred to it by the courts in cases brought before them;

(d) Standardization of legislation concerning states of emergency and grave emergency, as provided for in the Constitution;

(e) Restoration to the National Assembly of the legislative powers vested in the Council of Ministers, in accordance with articles 114 and 120 of the Constitution, concerning the regulation of government activities, procurement and the civil service;

(f) Introduction of the requisite constitutional amendments, in order to meet the new requirements, and abolition of the constitutional provisions that have lost their raison d'Ítre.

38. The Charter also emphasizes that the judiciary alone is competent to adjudicate in disputes concerning the application of any of the laws in force.

39. The National Charter covers matters, such as human rights, to which no direct reference is made in the Constitution.

40. The general legal framework guaranteeing the protection of human rights can be described as follows:

(a) In practice, all the various government agencies are concerned, either directly or indirectly, with the protection of these rights, which are not dealt with separately by any special judicial or administrative agency. The courts are accessible to all and are safeguarded from interference in their affairs (art. 101 of the Constitution). The ordinary courts in the Kingdom exercise jurisdiction over all persons in all civil and criminal matters, including actions brought by or against the Government, with the sole exception of those in which, under the provisions of the Constitution or any other legislation in force, jurisdiction is vested in religious or special courts (art. 102). Accordingly, everyone has the right to resort to the courts in any matter whatsoever, including matters concerning any violation of human rights;

(b) The rights and obligations of Jordanians are detailed in articles 5-23 of the Constitution. The National Charter further confirms these rights and various national legislative enactments clearly specify these rights, as well as the procedures to ensure their full protection. In practice, the Government has found that the provisions of its various legislative enactments are in conformity with, and in some cases have preceded, incorporated or transcended, the texts of international conventions. Consequently, the Government has not felt any need to promulgate these conventions in separate instruments in order to confirm the rights recognized therein, since they are already provided for in various legislative enactments;

(c) The international conventions which Jordan has ratified have the force of law and take precedence over all local legislation, with the exception of the Constitution. The national courts accord precedence to international conventions, except in cases which pose a threat to public order. This affirmation is confirmed by judgement 32/82 of 6 February 1982 in which the Court of Cassation ruled that international covenants and treaties take precedence over national legislation;

(d) In addition to the effective role which government agencies and official institutions are playing in the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in which they are assisted by the educational endeavours of the various academic institutions, both the Arab Organization for Human Rights and Amnesty International have branches in Jordan. The Government is in the process of establishing a specialized centre for the study of freedom, democracy and human rights in the Arab World and a Royal Commission has been formed for this purpose.


IV. INFORMATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS

41. The various audiovisual information media in Jordan are conscientiously endeavouring to promote public awareness of all aspects of human rights through news coverage and other programmed material. The news bulletins in the various media always give wide and intensive coverage to the negative and inhuman aspects of the violation of any human rights, such as cases of racial discrimination, particularly in South Africa, the occupied Arab territories and any part of the world in which minorities and persecuted peoples are subjected to forms of repression, torture and inhuman practices and denied their legitimate rights.

42. In accordance with article 42 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Jordan, being a party to that Convention, has participated at a very high level, illustrated by the presence of H.M. Queen Noor al-Hussein, in the events organized for that purpose. The Convention has been monitored by the various information media and Jordanian radio and television have broadcast the following programmes:

(a) Children's programmes:

(i) Some of the provisions contained in the Convention were reviewed during the celebration of Children's Week and the first Children's Forum;

(ii) Some of the provisions contained in the Convention were explained during the Children's Studio through discussion groups, songs and theatrical performances;

(iii) The provisions of the Convention and the rights of the child to education, health etc. were discussed during several episodes of the "Builders of the Future" programme;

(v) Under the children's programme plan for 1993 the individual provisions of the Convention will be explained, on a weekly basis, during the daily "Children's Studio" programme.

(b) General programmes:

(i) The "Family Programme" includes interviews with persons directly responsible for various matters relating to children;

(ii) The UNICEF programmes on this subject have been broadcast;

(iii) The English-language "Encounter" programme is making the provisions of the Convention more widely known through interviews with personalities concerned with this subject.

43. In addition to the Jordanian press coverage of this subject through various news reports and editorials, the Sawt al-Shaab newspaper has, on more than one occasion, devoted its weekly page on human rights in general to the provisions of this Convention and the manner in which they are being applied at the Arab and international levels.

44. Seminars and lectures have been held to make the provisions of the Convention more widely known in all parts of the Kingdom and the Jordanian universities now teach human rights as an optional subject to all students studying in all faculties with a view to making the relevant international conventions more familiar to the largest possible number of students.

45. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the various government agencies concerned, prepares national reports on human rights and anyone wishing to examine these reports is able to do so.

* Available for consultation in the files of the Secretariat.




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