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Cablegate: Information On Child Labor and Forced Labor for Dol

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

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Task 1/TVPRA
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1. (U) Post does not have information on additional goods for the
Egypt TVPRA list.

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Task 2/TDA
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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.
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