Egypt, Italy, ILO sign an agreement to support national plan to combat child labour

Ahram Online , Thursday 5 Oct 2023

Egypt and Italy, along with the International Labour Organization (ILO), signed an agreement on Thursday to support the implementation of the National Action Plan for Combating the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Egypt and Supporting Family (2018 – 2025).

Minister of Labour Hassan Shehata and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat during the signing event of an agreement to support national plan to combat child labour. Photo courtesy of the labour ministry.


Launched in June 2018, the National Action Plan aims to contribute to eliminating child labour in all its forms by 2025 while providing inclusive social protection for targeted children and their families.

"Today's agreement is viewed as an extension of the efforts made under the project 'Accelerating the Elimination of Child Labor in Cotton Supply Chains,' which was implemented in partnership with the International Labour Organization," explained Minister of Labour Hassan Shehata during his speech at the signing event, held at the Italian Embassy in Cairo.

According to the 2021 Egypt Family Health Survey, around 1.3 million children are engaged in child labour activities, with about 900,000 children exposed to hazardous work environments.

The agreement will also involve completing the 'Inspection Automation System' and supporting the Child Labor Unit's efforts within the ministry, noted Shehata. 

Furthermore, the agreement aims to find alternatives that can enhance family incomes to reduce the incidence of school dropouts, a primary driver of child labour.

Besides the national plan agreement, five others were signed to support women’s economic empowerment, education, and healthcare in rural areas.

In addition, another agreement was signed about the sustainable management of livestock.

Child labour in Egyptian law

In February 2022, the Senate — Egypt’s consultative upper house of Parliament — approved the country’s new government-drafted Labour Law.

The new 267-article law covers various significant issues, including child labour, women in the workplace, maternity leaves, strikes, working hours, minimum and maximum wages, automatic dismissal of workers, and labour lawsuits.

The Senate also approved Article 58, which bans the employment of children under 18, and Article 60, which allows children within the same age bracket to receive training for a maximum of six hours per day.

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