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Viewing cable 10CAIRO209, INFORMATION ON CHILD LABOR AND FORCED LABOR FOR DOL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10CAIRO209 2010-02-16 14:02 2011-02-16 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0209/01 0471408
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161408Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0247
INFO RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO
UNCLAS CAIRO 000209 
 
SIPDIS 
DRL/ILCSR FOR MORGAN, G/TIP FOR CDEBACA 
DOL/ILAB FO STROTKAMP, RIGBY, CARTER 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ELAB ECON PGOV PHUM KTIP
SUBJECT: INFORMATION ON CHILD LABOR AND FORCED LABOR FOR DOL 
CONGRESSIONAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 
 
REF: STATE 131995 
 
------------ 
Task 1/TVPRA 
------------ 
 
1. (U) Post does not have information on additional goods for the 
Egypt TVPRA list. 
 
---------- 
Task 2/TDA 
---------- 
 
2A. Prevalence and Sectored Distribution of Exploitive Child Labor 
 
 
1. (U) There are no current comprehensive studies of the extent of 
exploitative child labor in Egypt.  In late 2009, Egypt's Ministry 
of Manpower and Migration and Migration (MOMM) announced that it 
had reached agreement with the ILO to conduct a comprehensive child 
labor study, with technical and financial support from the ILO. 
 
 
 
In a 2001 study released in 2006, the government reported that 2.7 
million children were engaged in some form of labor, although not 
necessarily exploitative. 
 
 
 
Street children are especially vulnerable to labor exploitation. 
While some independent experts believe that there may be up to one 
million street children in Egypt, government experts - citing a 
2009 survey of central Cairo conducted with technical and financial 
assistance from the World Bank and the Arab Urban Development 
Institute which identified approximately 5200 street children - 
believe the number to be significantly lower. NGOs report that 
street children work as beggars, street vendors and in 
prostitution. 
 
 
 
Children, including street children, are subject to domestic 
servitude, but there are no reliable statistics.  Children are also 
recruited for seasonal agricultural work.  A credible local labor 
rights organizations estimates that up to 3.5 million Egyptian 
children may work in the agricultural sector during harvest season. 
Local experts estimate that 60% of working children are employed in 
the agricultural sector.  According to local NGOs, some children 
employed in domestic and agricultural work may face conditions of 
involuntary servitude, restrictions on movement, non-payment of 
wages, threats, and physical abuse.  In recent years, NGOs have 
documented children working in hazardous conditions in stone 
quarries in the Minya area. 
 
 
 
2. (U) The government did not publish data on exploitative child 
labor. 
 
 
2B. Laws and Regulations 
 
 
1. (U) In 2008, Egypt amended its Child Protection Law to raise the 
minimum working ages from fourteen to fifteen years for regular 
employment and from twelve to thirteen years for seasonal 
employment.  (Law 126 of the Year 2008).  Egypt's Labor Law (Law 12 
of the Year 2003) permits children to enroll in apprenticeship 
programs beginning at age 12.  A 2003 decree by the MOMM barred 
children under 18 from 44 hazardous occupations (Decree 118 of the 
Year 2003).   The 2008 Child Protection Law amendments criminalized 
any "abuse, trafficking, sexual harassment and commercial or 
economic abuse of children" and also criminalized the production or 
broadcasting of "pornographic materials involving children."  Egypt 
has ratified ILO Conventions 138 regarding the Minimum Age for 
Admission to Employment and 182 concerning the Worst Forms of Child 
Labor. 
 
 
2. (U) The legal and regulatory framework of Egypt is generally 
adequate for addressing exploitive child labor in the formal, 
non-agricultural sector.  However, enforcement is inconsistent 
especially in the informal sector which comprises up to 80% of the 
economy.  Moreover, Egypt's Labor Law (Law 12 of 2003), does not 
 
 
apply to child workers engaged in agricultural, domestic service, 
or employed by family owned businesses. 
 
 
2C. Institutions and Mechanisms for Enforcement. 
 
 
 
Section I: Hazardous Child Labor. 
 
 
1. (U) The MOMM is the agency responsible for enforcement of labor 
laws and regulations, including child labor laws. 
 
 
 
Pursuant to the 2008 Child Protection Law amendments, Egypt's 
Ministry of State for Family and Population (MSFP) established a 
General Committee for Child Protection composed of representatives 
from relevant ministries (Justice, Interior, Education and Health) 
and the NGO community to coordinate government child protection 
measures, including efforts to combat hazardous child labor. 
Sub-committees were also established in each of Egypt's 29 
Governorates, under the supervision of the local governor. 
 
 
 
The MSFP has formed a specialized office focused on combating child 
labor.  The office coordinates public awareness campaigns and 
manages a series of pilot projects focused on withdrawing children 
from the work force, using a variety of programs, many focused on 
raising family incomes. 
 
2. (U) Official data on information exchange mechanisms is not 
available. 
 
3. (U) Workers, employers, and labor inspectors are able to issue 
complaints of hazardous child labor violations. 
 
4-14. (U) Official data on funding for inspections, staffing levels 
(although the MOMM reports it employs 600 labor inspectors 
nationwide to enforce Egypt's labor code, including child labor 
regulations), the number of inspections, the number of children 
involved, the number of prosecutions, the number of cases closed, 
the number of convictions, case length, penalties, and trainings 
regarding hazardous child labor is not available. 
 
2C. Institutions and Mechanisms for Enforcement. 
 
 
 
Section II: Forced Child Labor. 
 
 
1. (U) MOMM is responsible for the enforcement of laws relating to 
forced child labor. 
 
2. (U) Official data on information exchange mechanisms is not 
available. 
 
3. (U) Workers, employers, local governments, and labor inspectors 
are able to issue complaints about forced child labor violations. 
 
4-14. (U) Official data on funding for inspections, staffing 
levels, the number of inspections (although MOMM reports that it 
employs 600 inspectors to enforce general labor laws and 
regulations), the number of children involved, the number of 
prosecutions, the number of cases closed, the number of 
convictions, case length, penalties, and trainings regarding forced 
child labor is not available. 
 
2D. Institutional Mechanisms for Effective Enforcement. 
 
 
Section I: Child Trafficking 
 
 
1. (U) The Ministry of Interior and Public Prosecutor enforce laws 
and regulations prohibiting child trafficking.  In late 2009, the 
Ministry of Interior established a special unit devoted to 
combating child trafficking. 
 
2. (U) Official data on agency funding levels regarding child 
trafficking is not available. 
 
 
3. (U) The MSFP operates a hotline to receive reports and 
complaints regarding child trafficking and to provide assistance to 
victims. 
 
4-12. (U) Official data on the number of investigations, number of 
children rescued, number of arrests, number of cases closed, number 
of convictions, sentences imposed, case length, and training 
regarding child trafficking is not available.  However, during 2009 
the government prosecuted two marriage registrars for facilitating 
short-term marriages of under-age girls to foreign men.  Twenty-two 
other marriage registrars were arrested during the year and are 
reportedly under investigation.  In May 2009, two men in Alexandria 
were convicted of luring eight street children into prostitution 
and were sentenced to prison. 
 
13. (U) Children are not involved in armed conflict in Egypt. 
 
2D. Institutional Mechanisms for Effective Enforcement. 
 
 
Section II: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children 
 
1. (U) Egypt's Ministry of Interior, in coordination with the MSFP 
and Public Prosecutor,  enforce laws and regulations prohibiting 
child trafficking - including commercial sexual exploitation. 
 
2. (U) Official data on agency funding levels regarding the 
commercial sexual exploitation of children is not available. 
 
3. (U) There is not a designated hotline to combat commercial 
sexual exploitation of children, but the MSFP hotline has received 
complaints regarding "summer marriages," which have resulted in 
prosecutions and convictions of facilitators. 
 
4-12. (U) Official data on the number of children rescued, number 
of arrests, number of cases closed, number of convictions, 
sentences imposed, case length, and training regarding the 
commercial sexual exploitation of children is not available. 
 
13. (U) Children are not involved in armed conflict in Egypt. 
 
2D. Institutional Mechanisms for Effective Enforcement. 
 
 
Section III: Use of Children in Illicit Activities 
 
 
1. (U) Egypt's Ministry of Interior, in coordination with the MSFP 
and Public Prosecutor,  enforce laws and regulations prohibiting 
child trafficking - including commercial sexual exploitation. 
 
2. (U) Official data on agency funding levels regarding the use of 
children in illicit activities is not available. 
 
3. (U) There is not a designated hotline to combat commercial 
sexual exploitation of children, but the MSFP hotline has received 
complaints regarding "summer marriages (short-term marriages of 
under-age girls to older men, often from abroad)," which have 
resulted in prosecutions and convictions of facilitators. 
 
4-12. (U) Official data on the number of investigations, number of 
children rescued, number of arrests, number of cases closed, number 
of convictions, sentences imposed, case length, and training 
regarding the use of children in illicit activities is not 
available. 
 
13. (U) Children are not involved in armed conflict in Egypt. 
 
2E. Government Policies on Child Labor 
 
 
1. (U) Egypt has a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the worst 
forms of child labor.  In 2006, the MSFP, working with MOMM, the 
Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), the ILO, UNICEF and the 
Ministries of Social Solidarity, Agriculture, Health and Interior 
developed Egypt's "First National Strategy for the Elimination of 
Child Labor."  Throughout 2009, MSFP continued to implement the 
national strategy, a key component of which is a U.S. Department of 
Labor funded project implemented by the World Food Program to 
remove children for the work force and to identify and closely 
monitor other "at risk" children.  In late 2009, the MOMM and ILO 
entered into an agreement whereby CAPMAS, the government 
statistical agency, would perform an comprehensive survey of child 
labor in Egypt.  Also in 2009, the MOMM announced that it had 
formed a committee of government, trade union and employer 
 
 
representatives to develop a national action plan, based on the 
2006 strategy, to combat the worst forms of child labor. 
 
2. (U) Through its National Strategy, the government incorporates 
exploitive child labor as an issue to be addressed in other social 
policies. 
 
 
 
3.  (U)  The government provided indeterminate funding to establish 
the MSFP's child labor unit. 
 
 
 
4-7. (U) Not applicable 
 
2F. Social Programs to Eliminate or Prevent Child Labor 
 
 
1. (U) The cornerstone of the government's child labor prevention 
effort is the National Protection Program, under the auspices of 
the MSFP, an initiative to identify and monitor children at risk 
for labor exploitation.  A component of the National Protection 
Program is a World Food Program (WFP) project to remove children 
from the workforce and provide them intensive social services.  In 
addition, the MSFP's child labor unit promotes public awareness of 
the issue through media campaigns through its National Observatory 
for Child Rights, initiated in January 2009 in partnership with 
UNICEF. 
 
2. (U) Through the National Protection Program, the government 
incorporated child labor specifically as an issue to be addressed 
in its social programs. 
 
3. (U) While no statistics are available on government child labor 
efforts, 11,000 at risk children and children removed from the 
labor force are included in a data base developed as part of the 
WFP project. 
 
 
 
4-5. (U) Not applicable 
 
6. (U) The government did not sign a bilateral, regional, or 
international agreement to combat trafficking in 2009. 
 
2G. Continual Progress 
 
 
1. (U) Challenges, especially wide-spread poverty and the 
traditional practice of employing children in seasonal agricultural 
work, continue but the government appears to be making serious 
efforts towards eliminating the worst forms of child labor, 
including through efforts to enforce the amendments to the Child 
Protection Law enacted in 2008, its agreement in 2009 to conduct a 
survey, in compliance with international standards, to assess 
exploitative child labor in Egypt, and the formation in 2009 of a 
committee to develop a national action plan.  While child labor, 
driven by tradition and poverty, remains a problem, NGOs report 
that public and government awareness of the problem and concern for 
the well-being of impoverished children is on the rise. 
SCOBEY