CAIRO: The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) called Friday for setting minimum and maximum penalties for crimes, such as committing rape and murder before the age of 18, and for judges to issue appropriate penalties.
The initiative, which was announced Friday at a community dialogue session entitled “Towards Legislative Amendments to Protect Children from Threats and Exploitation,” also called for tightening penalties for the exploitation of children. NCCM Secretary General Azza al-Ashmawy said that the council has passed along these recommendations to the president.
The dialogue session experienced a high turnout, including experts in the field of law, security, media as well as civil society representatives headed by the Presidential Advisor for Women’s Affairs Sakina Fouad, Presidential Adviser for Legal and Constitutional Affairs Ali Awad, Assistant Minister of Justice for Human Rights Ahmad Sirgany and the Media Representatives Wael el-Ebrashy.
Assistant to the Minister of Interior for Human Rights Abu Bakr Abdel Kareem said on April 3 that children have been used in “terrorist acts” after the January 25 Revolution, Youm7 reported.
“Certain people used children in criminal and terrorist activities, and children became easy tools in the hands of criminal entities that make use of the fact that criminal verdicts for children are reduced,” Abdel Kareem said.
Egypt has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states in its 54th article that children should have many rights, such as the right to survival, growth, protection from harmful effects, maltreatment and exploitation, full participation in the family, in cultural life and social life, according to the UNICEF website.
Egypt’s 2003 labor law no. 12 for organized child labor states in its regulations that children less than 17 may not work in mines or dangerous jobs.