Egypt building integrated system for promoting human rights: Justice minister to HRC

MENA , Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Mar 2023

Egypt has made major human rights achievements in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Minister of Justice Omar Marwan told the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) on Tuesday, noting that Cairo has been working on building a fully integrated system for promoting human rights in the past eight years.

Amr Marawan
File photo of Egyptian Minister of Justice Amr Marawan. Al-Ahram


Marwan said at the HRC meeting that this system is based on three main pillars: the legislative structure; relevant state institutions; and cadre-building.

Marwan is leading an Egyptian high-level delegation in Geneva, Switzerland, to review the fifth periodical report on human rights, which was submitted to the committee in November 2019, during meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 137th session of the HRC – which is being held in Geneva from 27 February to 24 March – is reviewing reports on the status of the implementation of the ICCPR in Egypt and five other countries -- Panama, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Zambia.

Despite the multiple challenges and shifts Egypt has been undergoing, it has managed to make major strides towards building a modern civil state that cares for its citizens, protects their rights, promotes their economy, and ensures their security, all while combating terrorism that undermines national stability as well as the Egyptians' ability to enjoy their rights, Marwan said.

He added that the constructive track chosen by the Egyptian people has led to embracing ambitious policies that contribute to a decent life for all without any discrimination.

Marwan briefed the attendees on Egypt's efforts to advance human rights in various areas, topped by achieving gender equality in all the civil and political rights enshrined in the ICCPR, providing the necessary care and support to inmates, protecting women against all forms of violence, and combating human trafficking and corruption.

He noted that the country has also made remarkable progress in ensuring religious freedoms, taking care of foreign residents, and promoting civil society organisations.

Despite these achievements, there are still major challenges ahead, Marwan noted.

He said that the promotion of human rights is an ongoing and cumulative process, reaffirming Cairo's determination to go ahead with reform.

The HRC is one of the most prominent treaty bodies on the international level. It was established under the ICCPR, a significant international treaty in this field.

In 1981, Egypt joined the ICCPR and since then it has been submitting periodical reports on progress made in the field of the rights guaranteed in the covenant, the minister pointed out.

The Egyptian delegation includes representatives from the foreign and justice ministries, the public prosecution, and a host of senior officials from relevant bodies, including President of the National Council for Women (NCW) Maya Morsy and Chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons Naela Gabr.

Earlier in the day, President of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Moushira Khattab, who is heading a high-level Egyptian delegation to the session, presented to the HRC an assessment of the Human Rights Committee’s report on the state of political and civil rights in Egypt from November 2020 to September 2022.

Khattab noted that Egypt seriously deals with the issues of human rights in light of the existing political will to enhance the state of political and civil rights in the country.

Egypt's keenness to deal with human rights issues is also reflected in the composition of the NCHR, which adheres to the Paris Principles, Khattab said.

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