Egypt has approved draft amendments criminalising bullying in the country for the first time, introducing penalties including jail terms, the Cabinet announced on Wednesday.
The Cabinet said in a statement that it has approved draft amendments to the penal code, adding a new article that defines bullying.
The new article defines bullying as a “show of force or control by the offender, or the abuse of a vulnerable victim,” or as an offence committed on the basis of gender, race, religion, physical attributes, health or mental status, or social class.
The penalties include a prison term of no less than six months and/or a fine of EGP 10,000 to EGP 30,000.
If the offence is committed by more than one person or if the offender is related to the victim, penalties can be increased to a minimum of one year in prison and/or a fine ranging from EGP 20,000 to EGP 100,000.
Egypt has recently started to take steps to raise public awareness about the negative impact of bullying on children and society.
In 2018, Egypt's National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the Ministry of Education launched the country's first national anti-bullying campaign, in cooperation with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to protect children from physical and psychological abuse.