Egypt has the political will to improve human rights conditions: Experts

Ahram Online , Thursday 14 Nov 2019

One of the two lectures held on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council review of Egypt in Geneva on Wednesday

Three Egyptian NGOs held two lectures in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss human rights in Egypt on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council review of Egypt on Wednesday.

The lectures tackled how human rights conditions were improving in Egypt despite the present challenges, such as the war on terrorism.

In the first lecture, held jointly by the Woman and Development Association (WDA) and the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, professor of political science at the American University in Cairo Noha Abu Bakr exhibited how Egypt managed to achieve milestones in the empowerment of women and youth.

According to Abu Bakr, Egypt has eight women ministers, 10 women working in the peacekeeping forces, 600 policewomen  and a woman adviser to the president for national security.

Abu Bakr also referred to the criminalisation of female genital mutilation and sexual harassment in the country.

She also discussed how the state supported freedom of religions and the fact that the law on church restoration and construction was ratified in 2016, in addition to the state's policy to renew the religious discourse.

The lecture delved into the state of refugees in Egypt. Abu Bakr said human rights and national security were two faces of the same coin.

The second lecture was held by Maat for Peace, Development and Human rights on Wednesday on the sidelines of the review, also discussing the situation of human rights in Egypt.

Maat Chairman Ayman Okail spoke about the recent amendments of the NGOs law as well as the law regulating protests.  

In the lecture, judge Ayman Fouad highlighted how the current Egyptian constitution criminalised all forms of torture and that torture incidents declined in the recent years due to the government's insistence on fighting such cases.

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