Egypt amends penal code & child law to combat Sexual harassment, protect children

MENA , Ahram Online , Wednesday 3 May 2023

The Egyptian Cabinet has approved amendments to the Penal Codeand Child Law, including measures to counter sexual harassmentand bullying, according to a statement by the Cabinet.

Egyptian Cabinet
Egyptian Cabinet


The amended law in Egypt’s Penal Code stipulates that any person that accosts another in a public or private space with sexual or pornographic matters, suggestions, or insinuations, whether by sign, word, or deed, by any means of communication including wire, wireless, or electronic means or any other will be charged with no less than two years and no more than four years in prison, the Cabinet announced.

They will be fined no less than EGP100,000 and no more than EGP200,000, the statement continued.

Additionally, in the case that the crime is committed in a workplace or in public or private transportation, or by two or more persons the prison sentence will be no less than three years and no more than five years, the Cabinet continued.

The same prison sentence also applies if the offender was carrying a weapon, or if the act is repeated by the perpetrator through pursuit and tracking of the victim, the statement added.

The minimum penalty of imprisonment shall be four years if two or more of the aforementioned circumstances occur, the Cabinet clarified.

In the case of repetition, the penalties of imprisonment and fine shall be doubled in their minimum and maximum limits, the statement asserted.

The amendment also stipulates that if the offender has a professional, family, or educational authority over the victim or any other circumstance that allows authority over the victim then the period of imprisonment will be no less than seven years. This also applies if the crime is committed in the workplace in public or private transportation, or by two or more persons, or if the offender carries a weapon, the statement added.

Additionally, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period of no less than ten years should two or the aforementioned conditions occur.

The amendment also states that the penalty should be imprisonment for a minimum period of one year and a fine of no less than twenty thousand Egyptian pounds, but not exceeding one hundred thousand Egyptian pounds.

Alternatively, one of these two penalties shall apply if the crime is committed at the workplace, in public or private transportation, involving two or more individuals, or if the offender has a familial relationship, guardianship, caretaking responsibility, or holds authority over the victim.

It also applies if the victim is entrusted to the offender by law or court order, or if the offender is a servant of the perpetrator. If two or more of these aggravating circumstances are present, the minimum penalty shall be doubled.

Additionally, the government approved amendments to Egypt’s 1996 Child Law.

The law grants women who have legally assumed guardianship of a child of six months or younger the same to maternal leave/absence afforded to biological mothers.

People who violate legal provisions related to birth registration should be fined not less than 1,000 pounds and no more than 2,000 pounds.

Additionally, under the amended law, a child neglect punishment should be a minimum of three-month jail term and a fine of not less than 1,000 pounds and not more than 5,000 pounds.

It is, however, the Cabinet clarified, up to the court to decide whether to enrol the neglecting parent in a six-month rehabilitation program in coordination with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) instead of the penalty.

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