CAIRO: Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) Azza al-Ashmawy expressed deep appreciation for interim President Adly Mansour on Thursday, as he decided to establish governmental committees for child protection.
This step comes to activate the articles of the new constitution, which includes unprecedented rights for child. Ashmawy did not elaborate on the special tasks of these committees.
Article 80 of the constitution states that “Every child is entitled to early learning at a childhood center up to the age of six years. Child labor is banned before a child completes basic education and engaging children in potentially hazardous work is also banned.”
This decision to put protecting children on top of the agenda, comes at a time of increasing abuses, exploitation and violence against children in Egypt, which the council is continuously monitoring, Ashmawy said in press statements.
The council’s monthly report highlighted the rise in the number of cases of violence against children during February. The council received 484 reports about this issue in February only, comparing to 155 reports in January, according to a statement issued by the council on Thursday.
Lawyer Mahmoud el-Badawi, head of the Egyptian association to help juvenile delinquents and human rights, called on the new government to put children issues among its priorities, stressing that civil society alone cannot solve their problems.
“We need combined efforts between all parties of the state including the civil society, the government, and the political will,” Badawi told The Cairo Post.
National Council for Childhood and Motherhood has recently conducted a study to the extent of systematic exploitation of marginalized children for political reasons after the January 25 Revolution.
The study showed that children in the period from June 30, 2013 to February 28, 2014, were exposed to many abuses and violence in demonstrations.
One example of severe violence against a child occurred in February 2013, when a five-year-old girl was killed by two teenage boys in Port Said governorate. The Juvenile Criminal Court in Port Said issued on February 17 a verdict sentencing the two killers to 15 and 20 years in prison. The two teenage boys attempted to rape the child but when the child screamed, they killed her by throwing her from the top of the building they lived in.