Eliminating all forms of child labor by 2025

Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights Association launches the first activities of its project "Elimination of Child Labor in Egypt", which focuses on strengthening efforts to eliminate child labor in Egypt and reduce this phenomenon in conjunction with the spread of the Corona pandemic and its economic and social repercussions.

The project comes within the framework of the Action Plan to Promote Sustainable Development goals of 2030, in particular the eighth goal, which is “promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and providing decent work for all,” focusing on the seventh goal, which is eliminating all forms of child labor by 2025. And that comes within the joint agreement with the Dutch company ADMC to reduce child labor in Egypt in cooperation with the Dutch RVO.

Accordingly, Maat announces the launch of its awareness campaign on the current situation of child labor in Egyptian society today, June 12, 2021. This campaign will focus on the various dimensions of the phenomenon, including the national, regional and international ones, while clarifying the national and international efforts exerted and the most important challenges by addressing through many activities that will be published during the seven-days campaign, including the definition of the phenomenon of child labor and the international and regional agreements concerned with addressing this phenomenon, with a presentation of a set of statistics and relevant publications, in addition to the importance of activating the 8.7 goal of the sustainable development goals 2030 within the Egyptian national context by 2025

According to the National Survey of Child Labor in Egypt

The agricultural sector accounts for 63% of child labor in Egypt, while working in industrial sites such as mining, construction and other industries, it reaches 18.9%, and for workers in the service sector

The number of working children in Egypt reached 1.6 million children

The rate of child labor is higher in rural areas than in urban areas and reaches its peak in rural Upper Egypt, then Lower Egypt, and then rural governorates located on the borders. About 83% of children working in the countryside compared to 16% in the cities, 78% of them are males and 21% are females. It must be taken into account that the number of working hours these children spend at work exceeds 9 hours per day and more than six days per week

The most widespread governorates Child labor in Egypt

Damietta, where the furniture industry is widespread

Fayoum where the wool industry abounds

Minya is known for its quarrying work, Sharkia is associated with agricultural labor

Beni Suef inherited the work of making carpets and handmade kilims

Sharkia is associated with agricultural labor

Dakahlia is linked to work in aluminum factories

Menoufia is linked to work in farms

The National Plan to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Egypt and Support the Family 2018-2025

Egypt has made many legislative and institutional efforts in the past years with the aim of eliminating child labor as it is an important and thorny phenomenon and has many damages and negative effects on many areas in society, but the impact of these efforts has become insufficient and effective, especially with the high rates of poverty and the slowdown in economic development and the rise of unemployment rates and low wages, in line with the high rate of child labor starting in 2016, Egypt has cooperated with the International Labor Organization to develop a national Egyptian strategy with the aim of combating child labor in Egypt and reducing it from the beginning of 2018 until the complete elimination of this phenomenon until the year 2025, and that In accordance with the two International Labor Organization Conventions No. 138 of 1973 regarding the minimum age for employment and No. 182 of 1999 regarding the worst forms of violence, in addition to many domestic constitutional legislation that obligated the Egyptian government to guarantee the rights of the child, especially with regard to child labor. This came in accordance with the Egyptian Child Law promulgated by Law No. 12 of 1996, as amended by Law No. 126 of 2008 and its executive regulations issued by Resolution No. 2075 of 2010. Egyptian Labor Law No. 12 of 2003, Ministerial Decision of the Ministry of Manpower No. 118 of 2003 regarding the prohibition of children from engaging in hazardous work. The national commitment was also confirmed by the 2014 constitution, which emphasized the prohibition of child labor before reaching the age of compulsory education (Article 80) Guarantee of the right to free and compulsory education (Article 19).

The National Plan to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor in Egypt and Support the Family (2018-2025) was launched in January 2018 in cooperation with the World Food Program, the United Nations Children's and Motherhood Organization, the International Labor Organization, the Ministry of Manpower, and this came to achieve target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which stipulates the need to “take immediate and effective measures to eliminate forced labor and end contemporary slavery and human trafficking to ensure the prohibition and eradication of the worst forms of child labour, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and to end child labor in all its forms by 2025.” In this regard, that plan is a solemn commitment to the employment of and activating all necessary procedures and legislation to implement this goal of eliminating child labor by 2025

Objectives of the national plan

The general main objective that this plan calls for is the elimination of child labor in all its forms by 2025, with an emphasis on providing comprehensive social protection for the targeted children and their families, through the implementation of many sub-goals that work to achieve the general goal of eliminating child labour, Among the most important of these goals are

Raising awareness and enhancing knowledge about child labour.

Strengthening and coordinating the legislative and institutional framework to combat child labour, through the establishment and institutionalization of national and regional coordinating bodies to combat child labor and the promotion of an appropriate legal framework to better monitor and prevent child labour.

Ensure the monitoring, protection and prevention of child labor through building the technical capacities of the stakeholders, through the creation of a reliable and sustainable database on child labor and its worst forms to enable policy makers and national actors to be better prepared to propose effective solutions to the issue.

Strengthening prevention and protection practices in combating child labor, by implementing direct measures aimed at preventing and protecting children, especially victims of economic exploitation.

Strengthening training and vocational progression to combat child labor, by strengthening the technical and institutional capacities of national actors to become more appropriate and able to implement coherent measures and procedures to combat child labour.

Strengthening awareness and social mobilization to combat child labour, by empowering children to participate in addressing child labour.

Updating the list of dangerous professions previously identified by Ministerial Resolution No. 118 of 2003.

Strengthening and consolidating alternative education, technical education, training and vocational progression to combat child labour.

Implementation of a communication network that includes the main actors in the fight against child labor in order to change the attitude of the public tolerant of this phenomenon.

Expected results by 2025

The phenomenon of child labor in Egypt is supposed to be eliminated by strengthening the institutional framework, coordination and cooperation between institutions concerned with combating child labor, strengthening the legislative framework, activating laws and ensuring their effective application to ensure the protection of children, preventing child labor through building technical capacities of professional bodies and improving Intervention skills for agencies concerned with combating child labor.

Withdrawing children under the age of 15 from child labor and restricting them to community schools. Withdrawing children over the age of 15 from the worst forms of child labor and integrating them into technical and vocational training programs designed in accordance with the needs of the Egyptian labor market. Parents should be receiving sufficient salaries and a stable income to compensate them for the income generated from their children's work to ensure a decent and stable life for them.

The year 2025 will be a year of victory for children and their enjoyment of all their rights, protection from dangerous labor and a decent and healthy life for them, by involving the population and stakeholders and establishing appropriate structures to combat child labor, empowering working children, and the participation of children involved or at risk of engaging in child labor in combat that phenomenon.

Ensuring full care for children at a young age and children under the age of eighteen, to ensure a decent life for them, with a focus on establishing rehabilitation centers, re-empowering children and enhancing their physical and psychological capabilities, in addition to ensuring that every child receives full nutrition for better health.

What is the 8.7

In September 2015, all UN member states adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: 17 interrelated and 169 associated goals to promote economic, social and environmental development.

All countries committed to

Take immediate and effective measures to eliminate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking, secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and end child labor in all its forms by 2025.

To achieve this goal, Alliance 8.7 was launched in 2016 as a global strategic partnership to coordinate and accelerate efforts. The alliance was formed in 2017, and the first strategic action plan was drawn up in Berlin for the 2018-2019 operation.

At the national level, the countries in the Alliance are committed to moving forward to achieve Goal 8.7 by implementing new procedures, modern approaches, and sharing lessons learned.

The coalition includes in its membership "state governments", "international and regional organizations and bodies" and "trade unions" in addition to civil society organizations, academic institutions, networks and other stakeholders, which reached 231 partners, including 22 countries.

Alliance 8.7 provides a platform for partners to come together to share information, promising practices and lessons learned, and demonstrate progress.

The main objective of Alliance 8.7 is to ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including child recruitment, and the overall end of child labor by 2025.

The UN member states have declared 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

Nearly 100 million children have been taken out of child labor over the past two decades, dropping the numbers from 246 million in 2000 to 152 million in 2016.
However, this scenario is exacerbated by the unprecedented consequences of the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in disruption of educational processes, spread of infection, and lower household income.

In light of the international efforts to combat child labor in the world, there are many mechanisms used to eliminate this phenomenon. We analyzed and monitored the most important of these mechanisms within the framework of the Maat Association’s report, “Correcting the path ... Egypt and opportunities to benefit from international experiences to combat child labor.” The countries’ mechanisms to protect children from the risks of employment were summarized in some points:

1- Fighting poverty and promoting development.

2- Supporting basic education initiatives and combating school dropouts.

3- Pressure on Stakeholders and Beneficiaries of Child Labor.

4- Monitoring the global supply chain for products.

5- Increasing awareness and changing stereotypes about the issue of child labor.

6- Strengthening the institutional and legal framework for countries and organizations.

7- Enhancing academic participation and searching for societal mechanisms.

Lessons learned from combating child labor globally and their application to the Egyptian case.

Although the Egyptian government has undertaken a series of efforts to reduce the phenomenon of child labor, which was indicated by Maat Association in one of its reports, especially in combating poverty related to child labor, in addition to providing education programs for children at risk of joining the labor market, not to mention strengthening the institutional capacities of individuals The government apparatus responsible for combating child labor, as well as the joint training between international institutions and the Egyptian government to combat the causes of the phenomenon. However, there are a number of challenges that stand in the way of combating the phenomenon, including the lack of updated and reliable data and statistics on the phenomenon, in addition to social tolerance with the phenomenon, especially among law enforcement officials and those responsible for combating the phenomenon, as well as the lack of networking and communication between the institutions concerned with combating the phenomenon and the absence of the oversight role of the workforce offices, while poverty and the absence of adequate social security programs are one of the most important challenges to combating the phenomenon in Egypt, as well as the spread of children in the work of the informal economy, which causes difficulty in monitoring the number of children in this sector, as a the societal stigma and shyness from society pushes children to work for reasons related to their stigmatization of lack of manhood if they refuse to work at a young age.

Motives of child labor in Egypt

The main reason for child labor in Egypt is the low standard of living of families, especially in rural areas, and the high level of poverty in the same areas, where 88% of working children engage in work to increase family income.

1- Economic motives

2- Social motives


Based on the foregoing, Maat Association for Peace, Development and Human Rights recommends the following:

- The need to consider adopting serious policies to provide free education for all working children, and to take measures to end the causes of child labour, especially eliminating poverty, reducing unemployment, providing free education and making it available to all school-age children without any obstacles, reducing school dropouts and addressing its causes.

-The need to consider the establishment of a special committee affiliated with the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood, with the right of judicial police, to carry out periodic and continuous traffic and monitoring of the various work bodies, especially facilities that by their nature are facilities that may pose risks to children, and to monitor violations in order to monitor their respect to the human rights principles of child labour.

- Activating the awareness-raising role of civil society organizations by implementing awareness campaigns for parents in general and public children and their families in particular, in order to raise their awareness of the legal rights of child labor, in order to prevent children from being exploited in work in dangerous professions.

-The need for the private sector to be involved in financing small projects for families of working children to generate income for them, as this would not force children to work.

- Determining the children who have dropped out of school and helping their families to bear the costs of studying and including these families in social protection programs such as Takaful, Karama and others as compensation for their children's work.

- Establishing a constantly updated database for the number of children and dangerous occupations that may affect the safety and health of children in accordance with the National Action Plan to Combat the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and Family Support 2018-2025.

-Abolishing the second paragraph of Article 64, which allows children aged 12: 14 to be employed by a decision from the governor in seasonal work. As well as tightening the penalty for violating the provisions of the chapter on child labor.

-Amending the Labor Law by adding articles covering child labor in the agricultural sector, domestic work and other work in the informal sector, which are not covered by the law, according to the text of Articles 4 and 103 of the Labor Law.

- Increasing the number of labor inspectors to fulfill the technical advice of the International Labor Organization, provided that there should be one labor inspector for every 1,500 workers.

-The necessity of providing accurate and constantly updated data on child labor in Egypt, which contributes to assessing this phenomenon and analyzing it correctly.