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Viewing cable 09CAIRO1223, PUBLIC REACTION TO THE 2009 TIP REPORT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO1223 2009-06-30 07:07 2011-02-16 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #1223 1810724
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300724Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3036
UNCLAS CAIRO 001223 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA, G/TIP FOR YOUSEY, NEA/ELA FOR 
CHATTERJI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREF KCRM KWMN KJUS SOCI EG
SUBJECT: PUBLIC REACTION TO THE 2009 TIP REPORT 
 
1.(U) Key Points: -- Public reaction to the 2009 TIP Report has varied from condemnation by certain Government of Egypt (GOE) officials to support from civil society representatives. -- The Minister of Family and Population and head of the National Commission for Motherhood and Childhood, Mushira Khattab, criticized the report as "exaggerated." She admitted to TIP problems with early marriage and street children, but denied that problems exist with child sex tourism and trading in children because the new Child Law Amendments have closed these "loopholes." -- Other ministries such as Foreign Affairs, Tourism, and Manpower, have dismissed parts of the report as untrue and claim that it amounts to USG interference in Egyptian internal affairs. -- Civil society activists support the report's assertion that the GOE needs to address both internal and external human trafficking. Human rights activists supported new information in the report that addressed the issues of early marriage and child sex tourism.

2.(SBU) Comment: Minister Khattab is a strong advocate in the fight against TIP. She is close to First Lady Suzanne Mubarak and her support is crucial to success in combating TIP. The release of the 2009 TIP Report has created significant public interest in TIP-related issues. This interest is likely to ensure further governmental and civil society engagement on the issue.

3.(U) The Minister of Family and Population and head of the National Commission for Motherhood and Childhood, Mushira Khattab criticized the 2009 TIP report, in the government daily Al Ahram, as being "unfounded." She said that the problems of early marriage and street children could not be denied, but she dismissed the report's claim of one million street children as "exaggerated." Khattab expressed skepticism about the reports assertion of child sex tourism and trading in children and she stated that trafficking amendments to the child law closed all the loopholes.

4.(U) The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly rejected the report. MFA Spokesman Hossam Zaki suggested in independent daily Al Masry Al Youm that the report's focus amounted to interference in Egypt's internal affairs. The Ministry of Tourism's Head Inspector in pro-government daily Rose al-Youssef, accused the report of "defaming Egypt's reputation" and denied that child sex tourism and sexual exploitation of Sudanese refugees were problems because "Egyptian law bans prostitution." An official at the Ministry of Manpower, in the same newspaper, stated that Egyptian law bans child labor before age 14 and he said that the ministry inspects working venues to ensure implementation of the law. Dr. Samiha, a representative from the National Council for Sociological and Criminological Studies told Nile TV that the report lacked statistical evidence.

5.(U) Human Rights and TIP experts expressed their satisfaction with the report. Regional TIP consultant and former UNODC Regional Representative for TIP, Dr. Nihal Fahmy told Nile TV that the report highlighted the need for the GOE to focus on both internal and external aspects of TIP. Negad Al Boraie, President of the Foundation for Development of Democracy said in Al Masry Al Youm that he report was "sound." He stated that the GOE had made efforts to address TIP, but said there was a need to address the marriage of underage Egyptian girls to men from the Gulf. Al Boraie opined that Egypt was not a transit country for trafficking of women. Hafez Abu Seada, Secretary General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, in Al Masry Al Youm, said that the report "reflected reality" and he stated that the spread of sex tourism has increased significantly. SCOBEY