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FDHRD issues a report on the phenomenon of child labour in Egypt

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press release

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Today, Sunday, June 12, 2022, the Research and Studies Unit at the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issued a report entitled: (Child Labour in Egypt).

Every year on June 12, the World Day Against Child Labour brings together governments, employers, labour organizations, civil society as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of working children and what can be done to help them.

The report discusses the phenomenon of child labour in Egypt, identifies the legal frameworks for child labour in Egyptian law and international conventions ratified by the Egyptian state. It also discusses the state’s efforts to eliminate this phenomenon, and the challenges it faces. The report presents some cases that were monitored in 2020-2022.

First: Child Labour in Egypt

According to an estimate of the International Labour Organization issued in November 2017, there are about 2.8 million children in the age group (12 to 17 years) working in various fields in Egypt. A report by Terre des Hommes indicated that the percentage of children working for more than the permissible number of hours (more than 6 hours per day) amounted to about 29.8% of the total working children, exceeding 43 hours per week, in addition to the high exposure of 13% of children to chemicals and pesticides. especially in agricultural labour.

Second: Legal Frameworks for Child Labour in Egypt

  1. Egypt has signed and ratified a number of international conventions that would eliminate child labour
  2. The following Egyptian laws contain some conditions and controls for combating child labour and protecting working children:
    1. The Egyptian Constitution of 2014
    1. Egyptian Child Law No. 12 of 1996, as amended by Law 126 of 2008
    1. Labour Law (No. 12 of 2003)
    1. Ministerial Resolution No. (118) for the year 2003
    1. Law No. 64 of 2010 regarding combating human trafficking

Third: The Egyptian state’s efforts to eradicate child labour

  1. Entities concerned with coordinating governmental efforts regarding child labour:
  2. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood
  3. The National Steering Committee for the National Action Plan for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and Family Support
  4. The National Coordination Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Human Trafficking
  5. Child Protection Committees
  6. Plans and programs to combat child labour
  7. The National Plan to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Egypt and Support the Family (2018-2025)
  8. The National Strategy to Combat and Prevent Trafficking in Persons (2016-2021)
  9. The National Strategy for Childhood and Motherhood (2018-2030)
  10. Expanding access to education and protection for children at risk in Egypt (2016-2021)
  11. Solidarity and dignity program
  12. Homeless children
  13. Project ACCEL Africa (2018-2022)

Fourth: The challenges facing the Egyptian state

  1. Some laws contain legal loopholes that are exploited to make children work
  2. Some institutions and programs concerned with eliminating child labour suffer from weakness, such as:
  3. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood
  4.  The national plan of action to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and support the family
  5. The National Coordination Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Human Trafficking
  6. Solidarity and Dignity Program

Fifth: Cases of Child Labour in Egypt

The forum monitored 28 cases of child labour across the Egyptian Republic from January 1 to March 2022

Finally, although the Egyptian state has a legal and legislative framework aimed at combating child labour, and has launched social strategies and programs to combat this phenomenon and address its causes, all its efforts have been undermined by weak institutions, exceptions, and legal loopholes, and the Egyptian government needs to pay more attention to this phenomenon. Especially in light of the economic crises that put more children at risk.

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