Cablegate: Egypt: National Council On Childhood and Motherhood


DE RUEHEG #2030/01 1840927
R 030927Z JUL 07






E.O. 12958: NA

Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

1. (U) This is an action request. See paras 7 and 8.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: DCM Jones met with National Council on Childhood
and Motherhood (NCCM) chief, Ambassador Mushira Khattab on June 25
to discuss Egypt's anti-trafficking strategy of the coming year.
Khattab elaborated on efforts to push the draft "Child Protection
Law," through Parliament. The "law" is a collection of amendments
to criminal and welfare laws related to children, to include a new
definition of trafficking in children. Khattab has asked for USG
input on the articles related to trafficking (See para eight). She
also said that NCCM's June 25-27 regional conference on Violence
Against Children, featured a session on trafficking in children, a
first in Egypt. Finally, the Minister of Information has agreed to
air public service announcements on labor trafficking produced by
the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna. NCCM is interested in
additional public awareness products (see para seven). End

3. (SBU) As head of the NCCM, and in her role as Vice Chair of the
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Ambassador Mushira Khattab
has compiled a comprehensive list of 149 articles relating to
children, which either exist in various laws and codes and require
amendment, or are new articles. During a recent meeting with the
DCM, she requested USG comments on the articles related to
trafficking. She wants input while the law is still in draft "as
the definition of child trafficking will greatly affect the GOE's
perceived efforts on TIP." See para eight for the text of the
amendments and action requested.

4. (SBU) Khattab believes that the amendments will be adopted, but
predicts it will be difficult as they include raising the marriage
age for girls and the age of criminal liability for children. In
fact, her amendments would affect about two-thirds of existing
legislation on children. Once adopted, a public education campaign
will be needed so that government officials and the public will
accept them. Khattab has started her own outreach, meeting with
ministry officials, and opposition and independent lawmakers, in an
effort to gain broad-based government and opposition support for the
amendments. She has obtained the support of the Sheikh of Al Azhar,
the state's highest Muslim official, which she is using to publicly
promote the reforms. She has also gained support from the Assistant
Minister of Justice, some parliamentarians and governors.

5. (U) The NCCM, a state organization, organized the Third Regional
Conference on Violence Against Children in Cairo June 25-27. The
conference included representatives from most Arab countries and
included a session dedicated to trafficking in children. In her
presentation, Khattab stressed that delegations no longer limit
their understanding of trafficking to cross-border movement. She
stressed that countries must include early marriage and child labor
in their definitions of trafficking, two significant regional
phenomena. Egypt is focusing on these issues, as well as street
children and their particular vulnerabilities in its national plan
on violence against children.

6. (SBU) Khattab also told DCM that increasing public awareness on
trafficking of adults and children is one of her top priorities.
She successfully persuaded the Egyptian Minister of Information,
Anas el Fiqqi, to direct Egyptian Television (ETV) - the official
state television of Egypt - to air free of charge a public service
announcement (PSA) on labor trafficking produced by the UN Office on
Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

7. ACTION REQUEST: Post requests G/TIP assistance in obtaining
additional public education materials, especially short spots that
can be used on television, for use by Ambassador Khattab and the
NCCM, including videos, documentaries and other awareness-raising

8. ACTION REQUEST: The unofficial translation of the text of new
proposed legislation on trafficking follows. Khattab has asked for
USG comment on this draft. Embassy Cairo would like a front channel
response from G/TIP soonest.

Begin text.

Article 125 (New): Punishment of no less than 6 months imprisonment
if the perpetrator used means of force or threat against a child to
commit a felony or a misdemeanor.

Article 138 (New): Punishment of imprisonment for a period no less
than five years and a fine no less than L.E. 50,000 and not to
exceed L.E. 200,000 for anyone who sells, buys or displays selling
or buying a child who is treated as a slave, or is abused through
sex or labor, or is to be involved in any illegal acts.

Article 139 (New): Punishment of two years imprisonment and a fine

of no less than L.E. 10,000 and not to exceed L.E. 50,000 for anyone
who imports, exports, prepares, displays, markets, or possesses
depictions of obscene acts where children are involved or anything
related to child sexual abuse. All amounts of money and equipment
are to be confiscated.

Article 141 (New): Punishment of one year imprisonment not to exceed
two years and a fine no less than L.E. 2,000 and not exceed L.E.
5,000 for:
- Using computer, internet, IT networks, animation to prepare or
display or print or publish activities and obscene acts related to
inciting children or using them in prostitution and obscene acts.
- Using computer, internet, IT networks or animation to incite
children to deviate or to exploit them in a crime or to commit
activities or illegal or unethical acts, even if the crime did not
take place.
End text.

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