ECCR signs agreement to train police on treatment of minors
Egypt’s National Coalition for Children Rights (NCCR) Secretary General Hani Helal - Screen shot from ONTV LIVE channel

CAIRO: The Secretary General of the Egyptian Coalition for Children Rights (ECCR) Hani Helal and the Interior Ministry’s representative of human rights Abu Bakr Abdel Galil signed into law Saturday regulations on how the police should treat minors who are detained or arrested.

According to the new agreement, five police stations will allocate units to provide the children the legal support in accordance with the Child Law, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Sunday.

The five police stations located in Coptic Cairo, Nasr City, Azbakeya, and al-Attarin of Alexandria will provide training to police officers, Helal said while signing the agreement.

The agreement aims to activate the article 97 of Egyptian Child Law of 2008 which stipulates that each governorate shall form a general committee concerned with children’s rights. The committee shall form sub-committees in every police station that includes security, medical and psychological representatives to follow up on the minors, the NCCR spokesperson for the legal affairs Neima Abu el-Ela told The Cairo Post Sunday.

“There are some children are being detained with adults in one jail. Other children were beaten and being put in places that are not allocated for them,” Abu el-Ela said.

The eighth chapter of the Child Law provides that a minor who was arrested shall be detained for a “specific period,” providing them the necessary legal assistance and a suitable place for detention and he/she shall not be detained with adults, and should be referred to juvenile courts. Article 26 of the Criminal Code says that a minor shall not be detained for more than 24 hours.

Abu el-Ela noted that activating such article may reduce the number of street children as the sub-committee officials will contact their parents.

The UNICEF is a partner in the coalition which includes more than 70 non-governmental associations concerning the children rights. In a survey in 2000 conducted by the UNICEF, 86 percent of street children identified violence as a major problem in their life. The Plan-International organization said the number of Egyptian street children is not clear and the official statistics revealed that the number may be between between 100,000 and 2 million children.

In Sep., Swiss NGO Al-Karama issued a report claimed that 52 children were held in Alexandria Kom el-Dekka, and while there children aged between 15 and 18 and were subjected to torture and sexual abuse after being arrested in a protest at the beginning of 2014.

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