Queen participates in "Protect me; I'm a Child" media forum

November 18, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department – Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania joined more than 50 children, prominent media personnel and private and public sector officials in a discussion aiming to safeguard children from all forms of abuse.
During a media forum entitled, “Protect me; I’m a child”, held to mark the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse celebrated today, Queen Rania told the participants that Jordan has become a leader in child protection and is now exporting expertise and programmes in this field to neighbouring countries.
Expressing pride in the achievements realized so far, the Queen noted that the situation of child protection has drastically changed at the national level over the past decade.  
She said child protection advocates in the Kingdom faced many obstacles 10 years ago because the public was still unfamiliar with the topic. “When I heard the children speak and saw their activities I realized where we were and where we stand now,” Queen Rania said, thanking the participants and particularly the children for their innovative work that “provide the motivation and enthusiasm to work and exert more efforts”.
At the event, the children were split into five groups and tasked with depicting abuse cases in drawing, photography, sketches or words.  
“I want adults to open up and listen to children and not beat them,” one participating child said.
Present at the forum, organized by the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) in cooperation with the Higher Media Council (HMC) and the Queen Rania Family and Child Centre, senior journalists along with many guests pledged to support and contribute to child rights and protection against abuse.
HMC President Sima Bahous said child abuse exists every where; at home, in school, workplaces and even at police stations, adding that children are the victims of violence and abuse and are neglected the most.
“We all shoulder a great responsibility towards children by working together to enhance and ensure a secure environment for them,” she added.
Bahous said it was imperative to provide the opportunity to discuss and share knowledge on abuse, describing the role of local media outlets as vital in encouraging children to express their opinions freely on abuse issues that affect them.  
She said the media, NGOs, the private sector and the donor parties are major partners in this regard.
According to Bahous, genuine sustainable development cannot be realized without children enjoying security and in the absence of an effective and integral media role.
Referring to the HMC’s role, Bahous said it supports and adopts child issues, and carries out studies on media and its role in raising awareness on such issues.
The JRF, chaired by Queen Rania, was established in 1995 as a non-profit Jordanian NGO.
The Foundation’s vision is to empower society, especially women and children, and improve the quality of life to secure a better future for all Jordanians.