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13 Feb

Jordanian Think Tanks Discuss the Role of Civil Society in Protecting Human Rights in Jordan

Jordanian think tanks and policy NGOs discussed the role of civil society organisations in protecting human rights during a roundtable discussion hosted by the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute on 13 February.

The roundtable discussion highlighted the need to assure that Jordanian laws and regulations guarantee full protection of human rights. According to participants, there is a gap between national legislation and international human rights declarations signed by Jordan, which poses a challenge to development, accountability and equality.

Participants also underlined issues facing vulnerable groups in the country. Women, for example, struggle with a shortage of job opportunities, which results in weak female labour market participation. Refugees often see their right to travel limited, as well as their right to work or participate otherwise. A last vulnerable group mentioned, were people with disabilities, who also suffer from a shortage of job opportunities, a lack of supporting infrastructure and limited services.

The WANA Institute will use the results of the roundtable discussion for a policy paper on the matter. The event followed an earlier focus group discussion, which established the development priorities in Jordan. Both were part of the project “Strengthening of Think Tanks, Youth Initiatives and Civil Society Organisations,” funded by the European Union (EU) and carried out in cooperation with the National Center for Human Rights.

Through implementing the Civil Society project, the European Union and the WANA Institute aim to build the capacity of non-governmental stakeholders to deliver results-based development assistance by equipping them with skills, tools and evidence. The project will also support think tanks to develop a rigorous evidence base. Lastly, a context-specific model for how civil society can exist and operate in complement to, rather than in competition with, government, will be developed.

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