Safeguarding children

Mai Samih , Friday 10 May 2024

Al-Ahram Weekly reports on the training of Ministry of Social Solidarity employees to ensure the implementation of child protection policies.

Safeguarding children


A training course was recently given to Ministry of Social Solidarity employees who were granted mandates empowered by courts to deal with violations and abuses in social care institutions.

Following the minister of justice’s decision 6263/2023, granting “judicial arrest” status to employees in the ministry is an effective mechanism to protect the rights of persons with disabilities guaranteed to them by law, the ministry said.

Under the name “Legal Aspects of Judicial arrest” the course dealt with crimes that violate the provisions of Children’s Law 12/1996 and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law 10/2018. The training comes within the framework of cooperation between the ministry and the prosecution.

The course, given at the headquarters of the Institute of Criminal Research and Training, affiliated to the prosecution, trained ministry employees on the mandates and specialities of judicial officers, provisions of child laws, the rights of persons with disabilities, and combating human trafficking, a ministry press release said.

The three-day training programme included several topics related to the authority bestowed upon judicial officers, rules for writing criminal reports, collecting evidence, and perpetrators being caught red-handed.

It also explained the role of the Office for the Protection of Children and Persons with Disabilities in the judicial inspection department at the office of the attorney-general.

The number of ministry employees granted judicial arrest rights stands at 135 working in the fields of care for children and people with disabilities. They are responsible for ensuring the implementation of child protection policies and the application of laws and regulations as proactive steps to protect children and people with disabilities.

According to the head of the Judicial Arrest Committee at the Ministry of Social Solidarity Mohamed Youssef, trainees were taught the role of judicial arrest mandates, their specialities and obligations and the actions deemed illegal by the attending officer when dealing with a particular crime.

They were also trained on how to write criminal reports and how to gather evidence, Youssef told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The course also tackled applying the law against human trafficking to the child law in terms of protecting them from crimes and how this is the role of the office for protecting children and those with disabilities as well as the Ministry of Social Solidarity, Youssef said.  

Those attending the training course work for the ministry and the directorates affiliated to it and who are already working in childcare and the care for those with disabilities.

They see to it that child protection laws are implemented. If a crime is committed, short of a citizen’s arrest, a report will be written and referred to the prosecution, he said. Judicial arrest has a preventive as well as a criminal role, Youssef explained.

“The preventive role is that we go to care centres throughout the country affiliated to the Ministry of Social Solidarity to check that protection policies are implemented and if there are administrative problems, we warn them so that such problems in the future are avoided.

“If during a visit, violations like signs of violence on a child’s body are discovered, we write out a criminal report and a warrant is issued to the employee concerned who is then referred to the prosecution which starts the procedures.”

Social solidarity employees were granted judicial arrest in 2016, 2017, and 2023, Youssef said.

This is the first official live training course in the field, but it was preceded by an online course.

Another training course is scheduled for later this month.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 9 May, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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