Criminal Protection of the Child According to International Conventions and National Legislation… Jordanian Legislation and the Saudi System as a Model: A Comparative Analytical Study

Dr. Lourance Said Hawamdeh
Associate Professor of Criminal Law
Faculty of Law, Taibah University
Medina, KSA


At present, violations of children’s rights have increased, especially since these rights and their protection is a legal and moral duty of the conflicting parties and states in particular. Therefore, this research deals with the aspects of protecting these rights in international agreements and national legislation, such as Jordanian legislation, and the Saudi government as a model, and how to address them in the best way, with focus placed on flaws in international agreements and national legislation, if any. The researcher relied on the inductive, analytical, and comparative approach of the texts of international conventions related to the protection of children›s rights during armed conflicts. It concluded with a set of results related to the existence of legislative loopholes in Saudi and Emirati laws, as well as a set of loopholes on the international criminal level, the most prominent of which is that the exploitation of children in disasters and wars has become a war crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and that the penalties related to international crimes have been limited to imprisonment, fines and confiscation without the death penalty, thus losing the deterrent element for perpetrators of international crimes, and the absence of specialized judicial and public prosecution bodies to look into juvenile and children’s cases in the formation of the International Criminal Court, reduces the effectiveness of international criminal procedures for the protection of children. The research also ended with highlighting the agreement of jurisprudence and most of the national legislation that the age of majority is eighteen solar years, and that the childhood stage begins from birth until before reaching the age of majority, which calls for providing protection during this stage.
The research recommended at the level of the Saudi system and Jordanian legislation the necessity of making amendments to fill in the gaps and deficiencies, and also recommended at the international level the need to amend Article (77) of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, by adding more comprehensive penalties than what is stated in the text (such as the death penalty), which is considered one of the penalties deterrent to perpetrators of international crimes, and the creation of a specialized department in the International Criminal Court, concerned with prosecuting and investigating violators of children’s rights, similar to national courts, and the need to amend the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 for the protection of the civilian population with the aim of stipulating in the text of the Convention the protection of children during armed conflicts and the non-violation of their rights guaranteed by international conventions.

Key words: children›s rights, juveniles, international humanitarian law, international criminal law, criminal protection, the International Criminal Court.

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