Committee to monitor political exploitation of children
children wearing a ‘kafan,’ a white garment reserved for dead bodies at burial during Rabaa sit-in - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Egyptian Association for Assistance of Juveniles and Human Rights (EAAJHR) announced Saturday that an operation room was formed by the association to observe any political exploitation of children during the presidential election.

The EAAJHR heads a coalition of 112 political and human and children rights associations, that will observe and analyze all cases involving children cases relating to political abuse and violence, according to a statement on EAAJHR’s website.

During the Rabaa al-Adaweya pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, children were allegedly exploited; children were photographed wearing a ‘kafan,’ a white garment reserved for dead bodies at burial, suggesting that they would be martyrs for their cause. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood denounced the “political use” of the children.

In the same period, at marches in support of the military, other children were photographed balancing an army boot on their heads, signifying deference and submission to the army.  “The EAAJHR will cooperate with governmental institutions and civil associations specialized in legal, psychology, social and cultural fields to form a  future vision for the Egyptian child, to be presented to the coming Egyptian president,” said Mahmoud al-Badawy, the head of the EAAJHR,  in the Saturday  statement.

Abdel Ghafar Shokr, the vice president of the National Council for Human Rights said Friday that the council would form next week a committee that had been approved by President Adly Mansour in his meeting with the council Wednesday April 16, to release minors and students who were arrested in the past year since the ousting of Mohamed Morsi, reported Al-Watan Newspaper.

Shokr told Al-Watan the committee would include lawyers from the council, adding that the council will present study detailing 600 cases of detained children, as well as hundreds of detained college students, and the council will announce the committee in details two weeks later to give the Minstry of Interior time to study the presented cases.

Shokr added that next week the council also would form two committees approved by the president to amend the Prisons Act in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior.

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