Egypt’s Parliament approves law to combat human trafficking
|Saturday, April 24,2010 20:52|
|By Mohamed Abdel Salam|
CAIRO: The Egyptian Parliament approved on Tuesday a law on combating human trafficking during its session under the chairmanship of Fathi Sorour, the Speaker of Parliament. The Assembly also approved Article 23 of the Draft Law, which states that the “State guarantees the protection of the victim and is working to create conditions to help him and his health care, education and social rehabilitation and integration into society in a context of freedom and human dignity, as well as his return to his home quickly and safely if a foreigner or non-permanent residents in the country, in accordance with the rules and procedures issued by a decision of the Cabinet.”
The new article also states that any victim of human trafficking must be given the priority for protection and “taking into account the fundamental priority in all decisions and actions by whomever they are issued or exerted.”
The new Law also states that it must be “taken into account ensuring the following rights for the victim: the right to physical, psychological and moral health and integrity; the right to personal inviolability and identity; the right to be enlightened on administrative, legal and relevant judicial procedures and access to information related to them.”
The Parliament also approved Article 28, which provides for the establishment of a fund to assist victims of trafficking and will grant a public juridical personality and shall be organized and renewal of its terms of reference-based and funded by a Presidential decree.
The Fund would provide financial assistance to the victims who have suffered damages arising from any of the crimes stipulated in this law, “and among the resources, the fines in the crimes stipulated in this law, money, tools and means of transportation, which governs impoundment, and interpreted these proceeds directly to the Fund, and the Fund to accept donations, grants and donations from national and foreign sources,” a statement from Parliament read.
A United Nations official on Wednesday called on Egypt to intensify its campaign of combating efforts against trafficking in people, pointing to the lack of awareness about the issue in the country.
Joy Ngozi Aizilu, the UN Rapporteur on human trafficking, who ended a 10-day visit to Egypt, met with officials from the Egyptian Government and representatives of civil society during her visit. She said during a press conference in Cairo that one of the common forms of trafficking in human beings in Egypt underlined the “sexual exploitation of minors through temporary marriages,” adding that “this trend is growing.”
She spoke about the exploitation of some needy families, especially in the summer season, when rich men come to Egypt from the Arab Gulf States to marry the daughters of poor family for several days, or weeks, in exchange for money.
Aizilu said that “this type of marriage is sometimes just an excuse to provide sexual services to foreigners.”
She added that child labor employment of servants, and even slavery, prostitution and organ trading is another issue of people-related trafficking in Egypt.
“Internal trafficking, much more exists than the foreign trade,” she said, adding that the countries involved in foreign trade will, in principle, will be mentioned in her initial report in June.
She said that “in spite of the description of Egypt as a transit country, it can be a source and destination country” for victims of human trafficking.
She pointed to the lack of public awareness about the seriousness of this problem and the absence of precise figures on human trafficking in the country, adding that Egypt is participating in a national study supported by various UN agencies, which will publish its findings in July.
The rapporteur called on Egypt to improve the training of police and representatives of the judiciary on this issue and educate the media “to address the root causes of the phenomenon, particularly poverty, unemployment and discrimination against women.”
She did praised Egypt’s efforts in combating various types of smuggling, but called on the country to promote their legislative tools in this area as well.
Republished with permission frombikya masr