Egypt's solidarity ministry says 'violations punishable by law discovered' at El-Amin's orphanage

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Jan 2022

Egypt's Ministry of Social Solidarity said on Saturday that it had shut the orphanage owned by business and media tycoon Mohamed El-Amin after "violations punishable by law were discovered."

Egypt s solidarity ministry

The ministry, which is responsible for orphanages nationwide, said that it had informed the Public Prosecution about the violations after coordinating with the authorities concerned.

The ministry's statement comes hours after the Public Prosecution ordered the well-known businessman to be detained for four days pending investigation over charges of human trafficking and assaulting underage girls at his orphanage in Upper Egypt's Beni Suef.

The ministry said that "it was not able to announce the size of the violations" in compliance with the investigation, saying "the matter now is under investigation by the Public Prosecution."

The Safe Hands Home for Girls Orphanage was founded and opened by El-Amin in March 2021. According to local media reports, the residents of the centre were transferred to another home after the closure.

The ministry added that it will act "vehemently and decisively" against any further violations at social care institutions by "immediately" referring them to the country's Public Prosecution.

The news of the detention of El-Amin, who founded and owned a host of private satellite channels, including the CBC group and Modern Network, caused public uproar on social media.

In addition to El-Amin’s centre, the ministry has also recently shut down the Om El Kora Orphanage in Upper Egypt's Minya, and Laylat Al-Qadr in Cairo.

Family adoption system

The social solidarity ministry pointed out that it has initiated over the past two years "a comprehensive" campaign against violations at social care institutions countywide.

The ministry seeks to reduce the numbers of social care institutions as part of its plan to gradually supplant such centres with the newly reintroduced family adoption programme, the statement added.

To push the plan forward, Egypt has recently introduced a number of policies to ease adoption, including allowing non-married women above the age of 30 to adopt children. The move has driven the number of adoption requests well above normal rates.

The ministry added in Saturday's statement that it has so far received up to 2,700 adoption requests.

These requests are currently being finalized, the statement added.

Over 10,000 orphans are staying at 516 social welfare homes across Egypt, according to local media reports.

The social solidarity ministry has repeatedly urged Egyptian families to offer psychological and social support for orphans, not just financial support.

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