1. The Committee
considered the second periodic report of Jordan on the implementation
of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(E/1990/6/Add.17) at its 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd meetings, held
on 15 and 16 August 2000, and adopted, at its 51st meeting, held on
29 August 2000, the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
welcomes the submission of the report of the State party, as well
as its written replies to the list of issues (E/C.12/Q/JOR/1). While
appreciating the delegation's efforts to address the questions posed,
the Committee nevertheless regrets that some of the questions were
not answered satisfactorily.
B. Positive aspects
3. The Committee
notes with satisfaction the sustained efforts by the State party,
aimed at improving economic performance and modernizing the political
and social structure in Jordan, taking into account its obligations
under the Covenant.
4. As a demonstration
of Jordan's commitment to furthering the human rights of its people,
the Committee welcomes the State party's ratification of major international
human rights treaties and notes the various initiatives pursued by
the State party in the area of human rights, including the development
of a national human rights plan of action.
5. The Committee
notes with satisfaction that the State party hosts a relatively large
number of refugees, and has a good record of respect for and compliance
with its international commitments in this regard.
6. The Committee
welcomes the decree of March 2000 on the establishment of the National
Committee for Human Rights.
7. The Committee
welcomes the significant achievements of the State party in the area
of health, despite its economic problems. In particular, the Committee
notes its progress in achieving many of the goals laid down in the
Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival,
Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s.
8. The Committee
further welcomes the State party's commitment towards improving access
to education, especially for girls.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the
9. The Committee
takes note of the relatively large number of refugees living since
1948 within the borders of the State party and of the effect of persistent
conflicts in the region on its capacity to promote the country's economic
and cultural development.
10. The Committee
notes the effect of the scarcity of water in Jordan on its capacity
to fulfil its obligations under the Covenant.
D. Principal subjects of concern
the Covenant is purported to have the force of law and to take precedence
over all legislation except the Constitution, the Committee observes
that 25 years have passed since ratification and the Covenant has
not yet been published in the Official Gazette.
12. The Committee
is concerned that the State party has given little attention to incorporation
of relevant provisions of the Covenant in its legislation.
noting the detailed information provided in the report on the constitutional
and legislative provisions relating to the implementation of the Covenant,
the Committee regrets the insufficiency of information in the report
on the effectiveness of these measures. Furthermore, the absence of
any information on complaints concerning violations of these rights,
as well as the lack of lawsuits in this regard, may indicate the low
awareness of the Covenant among judges, lawyers and the public at
14. The Committee
is concerned about traditional and stereotypical attitudes towards
the roles and responsibilities of women and men in Jordanian society.
15. The Committee
is concerned about discriminatory treatment under the civil law, such
as restrictions on the right of Jordanian women married to foreign
men to pass on their nationality to their children.
the establishment of the Family Protection Unit and other efforts
to address domestic violence, the Committee remains concerned that
violence against women remains a serious problem in Jordan. In particular,
the Committee notes with concern that marital rape is not criminalized.
17. The Committee
expresses its concern at the fact that crimes against women perpetrated
in the name of honour go unpunished.
18. The Committee
notes with concern the persistence of relatively high levels of unemployment
and poverty in the country.
19. The Committee
is concerned that non-Jordanian workers are exempted from minimum
wage provisions, are denied participation in trade union activities
and are excluded from the social security system.
20. The Committee
is concerned that the 1996 Labour Code does not provide any protection
for persons working in family-owned and agricultural enterprises,
and domestic labour. It is precisely with respect to work in these
areas that protection is most needed because it often involves hazardous
working conditions, and largely female and child workers.
21. The Committee
expresses its concern at the extent of the restrictions imposed on
the right of public-sector employees, notably those working in the
health and educational services, to participate in trade union activities.
Furthermore, the Committee is concerned that article 100 of the Labour
Code pre-empts the right of workers to strike.
22. The Committee
expresses its concern regarding incidents of forced eviction particularly
in the principal urban areas of the country.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
23. The Committee
recommends that the State party expedite the publication of the Covenant
in the Official Gazette and take the necessary action to make it enforceable
in the courts, including the courts of first instance.
24. The Committee
recommends that the State party monitor and evaluate the implementation
of relevant legislation relating to human rights. In its subsequent
reports the State party is requested to include information on: mechanisms
for the receipt of complaints, and for conducting investigations and
prosecutions; and statistics on subsequent decisions and their execution.
25. In the
light of the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (para.
71), the Committee recommends that the State party pursue the preparation
and development of a comprehensive national plan of action to implement
its obligations under its international human rights obligations,
including the Covenant, through an open and consultative process.
The Committee requests the State party to include a copy of the national
human rights plan of action and information on its implementation
in its third periodic report.
26. The Committee
emphasizes the importance of setting up an institution in accordance
with the Paris Principles relating to the status of national institutions
for the promotion and protection of human rights (General Assembly
resolution 48/134, annex). The Committee requests the State party
to provide information on progress made in this regard in its next
recognizing the difficult economic conditions prevailing in Jordan,
the Committee emphasizes that the implementation of economic, social
and cultural rights requires consideration of a range of issues, including
the equitable distribution of existing resources. The Committee emphasizes
that the State party is responsible for ensuring that resources reach
the most vulnerable groups and recommends that it ensure adequate
resource distribution at the national and local levels.
the Committee strongly recommends that obligations under the Covenant
should be taken into account in all aspects of the State party's negotiations
with international financial institutions, to ensure that economic,
social and cultural rights, particularly of the most vulnerable groups,
are not undermined.
29. The Committee
recommends that the State party incorporate in its legal order the
prohibited grounds of discrimination in accordance with article 2.2
of the Covenant, in particular, race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth
or other status.
30. The Committee
recommends that the State party take all effective legal measures
to prohibit discrimination on grounds of sex in all fields of civil,
political, economic, social and cultural life. The Committee recommends
that the State party take all appropriate measures, such as comprehensive
public education campaigns, to prevent and combat discriminatory treatment
and negative societal attitudes in this regard, particularly within
the family. The Committee recommends that the State party include
in subsequent reports comparative data on levels of employment, including
representation of women at the various administrative levels and in
areas such as law enforcement, the legal profession and the judiciary,
showing developments during the reporting period.
31. The Committee
recommends that the State party criminalize marital rape and provide
appropriate penalties for perpetrators. Moreover, adequate procedures
and mechanisms need to be established to receive complaints and monitor,
investigate and prosecute instances of abuse. Attention should be
given to addressing and overcoming socio-cultural barriers that inhibit
victims from seeking assistance. Programmes for the rehabilitation
and reintegration of victims need to be strengthened.
32. The Committee
recommends that the State party ensure that the Family Protection
Unit is adequately resourced, its capacity strengthened and its services
expanded to cover all regions of the country. The Committee recommends
the training of law enforcement officials, care workers, judges and
health professionals in the identification, reporting and management
of cases of abuse. The Committee recommends that the State party continue
to support and cooperate with civil society initiatives, including
hotlines, shelters and counselling services.
33. The Committee
recommends that the State party continue its efforts to secure the
repeal of article 340 of the Penal Code.
34. The Committee
recommends that the Labour Code be amended to ensure that workers
in family-owned enterprises, agricultural activities and domestic
labour are effectively protected, and that inspections extend to these
35. The Committee
emphasizes that the right of trade unions to function freely shall
be subject to no restrictions "other than those prescribed by law
and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of
national security or public order or for the protection of the rights
and freedoms of others". The Committee recommends that the State party
ensure that restrictions contained in the Labour Code are fully in
line with article 8 of the Covenant.
36. To enable
the State party to monitor its compliance with article 11 of the Covenant,
concerning the right to food, the Committee recommends that it systematically
collect data on malnutrition, especially child malnutrition. The State
party is requested to provide information in this regard in its third
37. In accordance
with article 11 of the Covenant, the Committee encourages the State
party to prevent any occurrence of forced eviction. The Committee
recommends that resettlement procedures and programmes include registration,
facilitate comprehensive family rehabilitation and ensure access to
basic services. The Committee recommends that the State party take
due regard of the Committee's General Comments 7 and 4, concerning
forced evictions and the right to housing.
38. The Committee
recommends that the State party develop an ongoing programme for the
dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the Covenant
among the public, civil society and all sectors and levels of administration.
Moreover, the Committee recommends that the State party strengthen
its efforts and develop systematic and ongoing training programmes
on the provisions of the Covenant for professional groups, including
parliamentarians, judges, lawyers and local government officials.
the Committee requests the State party to ensure the wide dissemination
in Jordan of its present concluding observations and to inform the
Committee of steps taken to implement these recommendations in its
third periodic report, to be submitted on 30 June 2003.