By: Said Abdelhafez President of FDHRD
Egyptian labor abroad is one of the most important contributors of the system of building the national economy with its contribution to the pumping of hard currencies into the country and a diversity of experiences contributes to the construction of bridges of communication between Egypt and various countries of the world, according to the latest estimates the number of Egyptians abroad about 13 million mostly concentrated and in the Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia – Kuwait) and then residents in the United States and Europe. With such a large number of Egyptian workers abroad there is almost no day where we do not hear about a problem faced by an Egyptian abroad, or a case or a legal problem which they face, and in fact we cannot deny, and in light of the available statistics, about 90% of the problems of Egyptians abroad are related to work, and most of the work problems revolve around the relationship between the Egyptian worker, and the employer or the institution in which he works. other problems that Egyptians face abroad, include the worker’s lack of access to his material rights or being subjected to torture, imprisonment and enforced disappearance, and possibly even killing.
Despite the efforts made by the state and its institutions to defend the rights of Egyptians abroad and extend the umbrella of state protection to them as Egyptian citizens, it seems as if there is a state of dissatisfaction with the performance of state institutions regarding the rights of Egyptians abroad, and here, after identifying the type of and most important problems suffered by Egyptians abroad, we must discuss mechanisms to protect and support every Egyptian abroad if he is exposed to a problem of any kind. First: It must be acknowledged that a large proportion of Egyptian workers leave Egypt randomly without planning and organization, where there is no one to confirm his experience, profession or ability to work in the country to which he travels in addition to a number insisting on illegal immigration, coinciding with the recent fact that EU countries have reduced immigration and an agreement among them to completely close the European borders, this randomness clearly reflects the shortcomings of some state institutions in the existence of an updated database showing the number of Egyptians abroad.
We cannot expect that all of the solutions of the problems of Egyptians abroad to come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its consulates alone. I believe that there is a need for concerted efforts of the Ministries of Manpower and Immigration and some other institutions, though the biggest role lies with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for communicating through its consulates with Egyptians abroad and providing them with consultations and legal assistance, and finding ways to interact continuously with them and make them aware of the laws of the countries in which they live. And the need to activate an easy and easy mechanism for the complaint enables the Egyptian living abroad to file any complaint with his embassy, but on the other hand the role of other institutions, led by the Ministry of State for Immigration and Egyptian Affairs abroad, which is the ministry concerned with protecting the interests of Egyptian citizens abroad and communicating with diplomatic missions and cooperation with communities and unions abroad, cannot be ignored, this is the main role for which the ministry was established.
We cannot deny the positive role played by the ministry recently in returning Egyptians stuck in some countries (Kuwait- China- Qatar – Sudan) and others following the outbreak of the Corona virus, nor the role of the ministry in providing support and support to some Egyptians who have been attacked in some Arab countries, but it seems that there are chronic problems that need more effort by the Ministry of Immigration, led by the collection of information Documents from unions and communities abroad about Egyptians imprisoned in the prisons of some European countries, identifying their legal positions and charges against them and helping them provide translators and lawyers to defend them, and the ministry should collect documented information about hundreds of Egyptians who have been subjected to ill-treatment, arbitrary detention or torture by police officers in some countries in preparation for compensation claims to help our Egyptian victims redress their harm. I also believe that the Ministry of Immigration is required to address the ministries of interior and justice in a number of countries to identify Egyptian residents illegally and to make agreements to return them to Egypt, and here the Small and Medium business department and the Ministry of Solidarity can play a role in providing a project or source of income for them.