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Egypt: authorities fail to address key points raised by CFJ in report to UN Child Rights Committee

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Press release

Geneva – May 21, 2024


During the 96th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Egyptian authorities failed to adequately respond to critical questions regarding child rights violations in detention centers and prisons. These questions were prompted by a report from CFJ highlighting severe violations of children’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.


Questions Arising from CFJ Report:

Committee members raised concerns based on the report, including instances of child executions, the detention of children with adults, the right to freedom of

expression and information, instances of torture by security authorities, solitary confinement, and enforced disappearances of children. These were all issues documented in CFJ report.


Inadequate and Unrelated Responses:

The Egyptian delegation’s responses were characterized by evasive maneuvers, citing the existence of laws as evidence against the reported violations. They claimed that Egyptian laws protect the mentioned rights and freedoms, without acknowledging significant abuses in detention centers and prisons. The delegation admitted to only 28 instances of child-adult co-detention from January 2020 to March 2024, attributing this to disciplinary actions within the Ministry of Interior, a stark contrast to the hundreds of cases documented by CFJ over recent years.

The official responses also ignored documented violations related to children’s participation in protests or social media activity, despite evidence of arrests and enforced disappearances linked to these activities. The delegation’s outright denial of enforced disappearances contradicted numerous reports and testimonies proving otherwise.


Committee Highlights Insufficient Egyptian Response:

Ms. Mary Beloff, a committee member, emphasized that “ideal legislation does not guarantee ideal practice,” highlighting that the existence of laws is not sufficient to refute allegations of child rights violations. This statement underscored the inadequacy of the Egyptian delegation’s responses to the serious issues raised.

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