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The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues its report : Egyptians Abroad: Struggles and Challenges

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Press Release

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Today, Monday, 12/12/2022, The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) issues its report, which deals with the violations and problems faced by Egyptians abroad. Egypt has known foreign migration since the middle of the twentieth century, as it witnessed the emigration of some Egyptians abroad during the fifties and sixties, most of them permanent migrants. The emigration of Egyptian labour has been concentrated mainly in the Gulf labour market in oil-producing countries during the massive oil revolution that the region has witnessed since the seventies, in addition to emigration to some other Arab and European countries with the aim of temporary migration, and to America, Canada and Australia with the aim of permanent emigration.

It has become rare nowadays to find an Egyptian family that does not have a current immigrant, a returning immigrant, or a relative who immigrated or is preparing to emigrate. Therefore, it was necessary to study the effects of this phenomenon on Egyptian immigrants abroad through several axes: defining migration, a brief history of the beginning of migration in Egypt, reasons for migration, presenting the problems faced by Egyptians and violations of their rights from Egyptian complaints, presenting some examples of the violation of the rights of Egyptians in foreign countries, clarifying the efforts of the Ministry of Emigration to preserve the rights of Egyptians abroad, and presenting some proposals to solve the problems of Egyptians abroad.

The report indicated the most important factors that led to Egyptian labour emigration as follows:

  1. The state encourages the phenomenon of emigration, as it gives the right to permanent or temporary migration.
  2. The increasing number of family members to a degree that exceeds ability to meet their living requirements.
  3. The increasing supply of the labour force in comparison to the demand of the labour market, and thus increasing the unemployment rate, in addition to the insufficient wage offered.
  4. The increase in external demand for Egyptian labour by the Gulf oil-producing countries after 1974. This was translated into the response of Egyptian workers to emigrate to the Gulf countries, taking into account the relative wages, in terms of the comparison between the wage of the local worker in Egypt and the external wage in those countries.
  5. The effect of the conditions of life in the western countries.

He also pointed out that many of the problems faced by Egyptians abroad result from their lack of knowledge of the laws of the countries in which they work. The Egyptian communities are also the most exposed to problems, because the main purpose of their presence is work and earning a living, not tourism and entertainment.

The report also concluded with the following recommendations:

  • Conducting specific studies and specialized research on the current needs and future trends of foreign markets, in various specializations and professions, in a way that raises the efficiency of the competitiveness of Egyptian labour, and pays attention to the fact that scarcity in specialization is what generates value for the Egyptian working abroad.
  • Allowing civil society organizations and institutions to dispatch fact-finding missions regarding the conditions of members of the Egyptian community abroad.
  • Establishing a complete database on the Egyptian community abroad, so that they can be contacted and provided with the necessary aid. This base should be closer to a guide, raising awareness of the problems facing Egyptian workers abroad, and warning against allowing the Egyptian worker to travel unless he presents a documented and approved work contract while raising awareness of the of his rights.
  • Closing and holding accountable the offices of what were called in the media “fake employment offices” in Egypt, which lie and defraud the young generations looking for a job opportunity, and sell them illusions, instead of employment contracts.
  • Providing legal advisors by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Egyptian international that can be used quickly to defend Egyptians in case they are exposed to legal crises outside the country.
  • Establishing a National Council for Migration or for the Welfare of Egyptians Abroad, so that it gives increased attention to the Egyptian community abroad. This Council should include some personalities with extensive experience such as former diplomats, coordinating directors of migration, former immigrants, and those who have returned and are interested in immigration issues.
  • Activating communication between Egyptians and embassies abroad.
  • Increasing the number of consulates abroad and increasing the number of employees in consulates.
  • Conducting periodic tours by Missions affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to know the conditions of the gatherings of Egyptians residing abroad, listen to them, and understand the nature of their conditions, pursuant to the principle of preventive diplomacy that aims to stave off problems, before they escalate, and remove psychological barriers between the embassy and members of the community.

For his part, Saeed Abdel Hafez, Chairman of the FDHRD, said Egyptians abroad always set the best examples of patriotism and loyalty to Egypt. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the issues of Egyptians abroad by the relevant ministries, in order to help Egyptians abroad to obtain as many rights as possible.

Zainab Saleh, a researcher at the FDHRD, confirmed that Egyptians abroad have a major role in development within the country, and we are all supposed to search for all possible means to make them feel their role and status, and it is necessary to work institutionally and link foreign expatriates to the homeland to benefit from their experiences.

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