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Statement on and Advance Questions to Jordan

Last updated: 24.10.2013 // UPR of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan October 24th 2013. Statement and advance questions submitted by Norway

Statement

Norway thanks the delegation of Jordan for the presentation here today.

We have witnessed some positive development regarding women’s human rights since the last UPR.  Norway remains, however, concerned that women are still discriminated against within the legal system and that various forms of violence against women are widespread.  

 Norway recommends Jordan to:

  • Amend the Citizenship and Nationality Law to enable Jordanian women to pass on their nationality to their children and spouses on an equal basis with Jordanian men;
  • And to:
  • Lift reservations to Articles 9 and 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women relating to nationality and to discrimination in family relations.

During the previous round of UPR, Jordan accepted the recommendation to further promote an open and free press where journalists may report about all political, social and economic matters without fear of retribution. However, the Jordanian authorities have maintained tight restrictions on freedom of expression and the development has taken a negative direction since the outbreak of “the Arab Spring”. Amendments to the Press and Publication Law from 2012 put restrictions on local internet news pages, demanding that they hold a license from the Press and Publication Department.

Norway therefore recommends Jordan to:

  • Rescind the recent amendments to the Penal Code, Press and Publications Law, and the Law of Information System Crimes;
  • And to:
  • Abolish or amend all Penal Code articles that place impermissible restrictions on freedom of expression. 
Advance questions
  1. During the previous round of UPR hearings in 2009, Jordan accepted the recommendation from Canada to "take further steps to promote an open and free press where journalists may report on a full spectrum of political, social and economic issues without fear of retribution". However, since the last round of UPR, there have been reports of an undesirable trend with regards to freedom of expression in Jordan. What will the government of Jordan do to implement the recommendations from 2009?
  2. How will the Government of Jordan ensure that its citizens can exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association, in compliance with Jordan's international human rights commitments?
  3. Women are still discriminated against within the legal system. Which steps will Jordan take in order to end gender discrimination in the national legislation, specifically in regards to personal status laws and nationality laws? In this regard, would Jordan consider granting Jordanian women the right to pass on their nationality to their husbands and children?
  4. Article 6 of the Jordanian Constitution states the following:

    (i) Jordanians shall be equal before the law. There shall be no discrimination between them as regards to their rights and duties on grounds of race, language or religion.
    (ii) The Government shall ensure work and education within the limits of its possibilities, and it shall ensure a state of tranquility and equal opportunities to all Jordanians.

    In 2011, women's rights activists were promised by the Royal Committee on Constitutional Review that the word "gender" will be inserted in Article 6 of the Constitution, which bars discrimination in the application of the law. However, the word was excluded from the final draft. Why did the Royal Committee change their opinion on this? Would Jordan reconsider to include the word gender in article 6 of the Jordanian Constitution?

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