Egypt releases first quarterly bulletin to monitor human rights progress

Ahram Online , Wednesday 25 Jan 2023

Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) released its first periodical Human Rights Bulletin for the fourth quarter of 2022, detailing the efforts of the country towards upholding and protecting human rights.

File Photo - Egyptian youths (Photo: AP)


The quarterly mainly monitors, documents, and evaluates Egypt’s human rights achievements within the context of the National Human Rights Strategy, which President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi launched in September 2021, the bulletin said.

There are 12 sections in the report, each concerned with a sector in society and its challenges.

The right to social security

Some 3.8 million families have enrolled in the government's cash transfer initiative Takaful and Karama until October 2022 at a total funding of EGP 121 billion, with plans to increase beneficiaries to 4.1 million families.

The Ministry of Finance raised in October the minimum wage from EGP 2,700 to EGP 3,000 for all 4.6 million public sector employees.

The right to health

The state has achieved positive outcomes in the various presidential health initiatives.

The rate of the early detection of breast tumours as part of the Women's Health Initiative increased to 70 percent, the Ministry of Health said in October. Additionally, the rate of the late detection of tumours has dropped from 58.5 to 29.5 percent since the launch of the initiative in 2019.

From June 2018 to October 2022, 1.4 million surgical procedures were performed in a bid to end waiting lists for serious cases that require surgical intervention, the ministry said.

As part of the 100 Million Healthy Lives initiative, the ministry examined 363,000 students for Hepatitis C, conducted hearing tests for around four million children, and tested 192,000 newborns for genetic diseases until October, the ministry announced.

The ministry also sent 305 medical convoys across the country under the Decent Life (Hayah Karima) initiative for the early detection and treatment of diseases free-of-charge throughout the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022.

The right to work

Egypt’s National Wages Council (NWC) has set the minimum wage for private sector workers at EGP 2,700 per month, up from EGP 2,400, starting January.

In September, the Ministry of Housing completed the first phase of training courses meant to qualify Egyptian youth for the labour market in the governorates of Assiut, Minya, Kafr El-Sheikh, and Beni Suef.

The first phase of the courses targeted teaching 675 young people crafts, including carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and building works.

The second phase of the courses will target another 675 youth in the governorates of Dakqahliya, Fayoum, Beheira and Gharbiya.

The right to adequate housing

Under the presidential initiative “Housing for all Egyptians,” the Ministry of Housing announced in the beginning of Q4 2020 that it started the construction of 1,632 housing units in 10 Ramadan city and 11,160 housing units in 15 May city.

In mid-October, the ministry announced the completion of thousands of housing units for low-income families in the new cities of Hadayek El-Asimah, New October, and New Qena.

Children’s rights

The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) gave a workshop to children on the dangers of child labour and exodus from education at an early age within Egypt’s framework to combat and eliminate child labour across the country and to provide social protection for the targeted children and their families.

The NCCM held a workshop to help government employees in the field of human trafficking to identify victims of the practice in October.

In the same month, and in collaboration with the National Council of Women (NCW), the NCCM conducted training activities in Assiut and Alexandria to educate female pioneers about protecting young girls from female genital mutilation.

The Ministry of Social Solidarity held workshops to raise the efficiency of members of its social monitoring offices in cooperation with UNICEF. The ministry trained 245 members nationwide to develop a child-friendly criminal justice system in line with Egypt's Vision 2030 and the National Human Rights Strategy.

Women’s rights

In terms of women’s economic empowerment, the NCW organised training events in several governorates, including Alexandria, Giza, and Beheira, in Q4 2022 to enable women financially through vocational training and financial education.

In November, the social solidarity ministry launched the “16 Days” campaign to combat violence against women and girls. The campaign was held under the slogan "Hold the tip of the string... Participate in the decision" to confirm that any girl or woman can face violence in all forms.

Rights of persons with disabilities

In October, the Ministry of Transport announced a 50 percent discount on public railway transportation fees for persons with disabilities.

The Ministry of Interior, in coordination with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), allowed persons with visual impairment nationwide to obtain identification papers, travel documents, and work permits free of charge from 15 to 22 October.

The NCPWD also held a training course for members of the Administrative Prosecution Authority on the rights of persons with disabilities in November.

The right to food

The Hayah Karima initiative distributed 40,000 foodstuff boxes to the neediest social groups in October in the villages and towns of the governorates of Sharkiya, South Sinai, Suez, Ismailia, Port Said, Giza, Kafr El-Sheikh, and several governorates in Upper Egypt.

Rights of elderly persons

Marking the International Day for Older Persons on 1 October, the Ministry of Social Solidarity announced a set of measures to promote the rights of the elderly.

The ministry announced a raise of EGP 100 for all beneficiaries of the Karama programme, which targets the elderly, for one month.

The ministry also secured free home delivery of pensions for elderly persons who are not capable of moving or suffering from chronic diseases.

In addition, the ministry opened a private nursing home for elderly women with visual impairment in collaboration with the Egyptian charitable Association of Light and Hope dedicated to providing care for blind women.

The ministry also provided free subscriptions for elderly persons above 65 years of age at the Diyarana exhibitions to display their handicraft products, which enhances their ability to enjoy their right to work.

The right to association

The Ministry of Social Solidarity launched in December an integrated electronic system to regulate the affairs of the work of civil society. It provides 36 services for NGOs.

Capacity building and human rights awareness

The SIS held training sessions targeting 150 female public servants and service volunteers on the principles of citizenship and human rights in partnership with the Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) and the social solidarity ministry in the Delta governorates as part of Hayah Karima.

Progress report on the National Human Rights Strategy

The Supreme Standing Committee for Human Rights published The National Strategy for Human Rights... A Year of Implementation, highlighting national efforts to implement the National Human Rights Strategy and its plans in the next four years.

The report also sheds light on the role of the presidential initiatives and decisions in promoting and protecting human rights at various levels of its focus areas.

The strategy has four areas of focus: civil and political rights; rights of women, children, people of determination, youth, and the elderly; economic, social, and cultural rights; and education and capacity building.

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