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CFJ on World Day of Social Justice calls Egypt to reduce the gap between social classes and expand social protection programs

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On World Day of Social Justice, insecurity in the right to housing and the labor market is spreading, and inequality in the distribution of wealth in Egypt is increasing and escalating, the Committee for Justice said.

On 26 November 2007, the General Assembly declared that, with effect from the sixty-third session of the  General Assembly, it had been decided to proclaim 20 February annually as the World Day of Social Justice, based on “the broad consensus on the need for a strong social dimension of globalization to achieve the best equitable outcome for all. It is a compass for the promotion of fair globalization based on decent work and a practical tool for accelerating progress in implementing the decent work agenda at the country level. It also shows a productive outlook by highlighting the importance of sustainable enterprises in creating more employment and income opportunities for all.”

In light of the deterioration in the Egyptian economy since 2022, marginalized groups bear the brunt of difficult living conditions. Within the Committee for Justice’s work on the labor justice project, we monitored during 2023 Many protests and labor strikes in protest against low wages and reluctance to disburse them sometimes despite the rise in prices and the arbitrary dismissal of workers due to the demand for legitimate rights. Despite the positive step of raising the minimum wage,  it should be noted that this step does not include workers in the private sector or irregular employment, which is a large percentage of the wage workers in Egypt and loses its effectiveness due to the steady increase in food prices on an almost daily basis.

In terms of rights of housing , the residents of the “Dahyet Al-Jamil ” area west of Port Said are subjected to the forced eviction of their homes as part of the “development plan” and the authorities’ use of the security solution by the Ministry of Interior to suppress any attempts by residents to hold on to their homes, despite the residents’ willingness to buy land, the state however is insisting on rejecting these alternatives despite the willingness of citizens to provide them, and the matter developed into the death of a citizen during the demolitions, and according to press sources  who communicated with the residents of the area, the suburb, which includes more than 400 A residential property and approximately 2,500 families, built and built with the residents’ money and with a license from the governorate,  under a long-term usufruct system granted by the governorate to the residents of the neighborhood, which is renewed annually, and the residents introduced all utilities such as water, gas, and electricity at their own expenses without any government support, which was stipulated by the governorate at the time, as the area handed them the right to benefit from the condition of building and reconstruction.

In terms of the poverty level, the latest edition of the “Income and Expenditure Research” issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) covered until March 2020, when the poverty rate was 29.7 percent, and no new data has been issued since that time from the center. However, an independent study conducted by the agency’s consultant, “Heba Al-Laithy,” predicted that the poverty level in  2022/2023 would have risen to 35.7%, with the poverty line rising to 1478. The rise in the extreme poverty line to 1069 pounds per month directly results from inflation, especially in food prices.

For all of the above, the Committee for Justice calls for the adoption of different economic policies aimed at reducing the gap between social classes, expanding social protection programs to a broader range of needy groups, including irregular workers, monitoring the private sector to ensure that workers receive their due wages fairly, and stopping resorting to security solutions to impose “development” on citizens without fair compensation.


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