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
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
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.
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.
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