CAIRO: Egypt is doing worse at combating human trafficking, said the annual report of the U.S. Department of State on global Trafficking in Persons.
“Egypt is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking,” said the report issued two days before the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30.
Egypt has dropped from Tier 2 list to Tier 2 Watch List; on which number of trafficking victims is “significantly” increasing and the governments failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking during the previous year.
According to the report, the number of the children, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, was estimated at 200,000 to one million street children along with other children who have been sexually manipulated in tourism “primarily” in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor.
As for women trafficking, the report noted that the individuals from Gulf States “purchase” Egyptian women and girls for “temporary” marriage.
“Men and women from South and Southeast Asia and East Africa are subjected to forced labor in domestic service, construction, cleaning, and begging,“ the report said, adding that Syrian refuges in Egypt are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking.
Although the Egyptian government prohibited all kinds of trafficking per 2010 anti-trafficking law, “limited progress” has been carried out, the report noted; in 2014, the government conducted for the first time a survey on the trafficking cases over the last five years but failed to convict a trafficking offender.
“The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor, and it did not raise awareness of the problem of child sex tourism. The government offered anti-trafficking training for Egyptian troops before deploying them on international peacekeeping missions. The government provided anti-trafficking training or guidance for its diplomatic personnel,” the report concluded its part on Egypt.
Since Egyptian military troops have launched security campaigns on terrorists in North Sinai, many cases of trafficking were arrested; thus, according to the report, the traffickers headed to the western borders with Libya.
A total of 339 people, including four human traffickers were arrested Monday while attempting to illegally travel to Libya through Egypt’s Western Desert towns of Sallum, Siwa and Matrouh, Youm7 reported.