Egypt celebrates the World Day Against Child Labour with a solid commitment to supporting eradicating the worst form of Child Labour in the country.

The ACCEL Africa project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower of Egypt, organized an event to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL).

Article | Cairo, Egypt | 27 June 2022
Cairo, 27 June 2022 – The ACCEL Africa project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower of Egypt, organized an event to commemorate the World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL). The celebration was honoured with the presence of H.E Mr Mohamed Saffan, Minister of Manpower, H.E Dr Nevine El-Kabbag, Minister of Social Solidarity, and Dr Tarek Tawfik Deputy Minister of Health and Population for Population Affairs and National Council for childhood and Motherhood Supervisor, Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the ILO Office for Egypt and Eritrea and Director of Decent Work Team for North Africa, relevant stakeholders, members of the Egyptian Parliament, development partners and international organizations, and members of the National Action Plan National Steering Committee.

H.E. Mr. Mohamed Saffan inaugurated the event. He indicated that the Egyptian government was aware of the importance of concerted national efforts to address the issue of child labour and its economic, social, moral and health consequences on society and future generations and stressed that the Ministry was keen on reviewing and updating laws and decrees to be in line with international standards. He also noted that the Ministry recently issued Decree No. 215 of 2021, which updates Ministerial Decree No. 118 of 2003 on the Hazardous Work and Professions List, prohibiting children from being employed or trained in dangerous occupations.

Mr. Eric Oechslin stressed in his speech that the celebration comes this year under the slogan “Comprehensive Social Protection to Eliminate Child Labour” by calling for increased investment in social protection systems and plans to create solid social protection systems and protect children from the need to work. Mr. Oechslin announced the media award winners for the best media coverage on the phenomenon of child labour and congratulated the winners. He also signed a Letter of Intent between ILO and Banque Misr to promote financial literacy and facilitate access to appropriate financial services and products for family members of cotton farmers and smallholders to address the one of the root causes of child labour in Egypt.

Dr. Tarek Tawfik stressed the important role of the National Council for childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) in leading policies and procedures to promote eliminating child labour in Egypt, hence the importance of finalizing and launching the Combating Child Labour Standing Operating Procedures Manual currently developed by NCCM with the support of ILO ACCEL Africa Project that will set the procedures to identify, report, refer and manage child labour cases and be the base for national child labour monitoring system in Egypt.

The event was concluded by a speech by H.E. Dr. Nevine El-Kabbag about the widespread and diverse harms caused by child labour. She emphasized that the ministry has been working on improving the economic conditions of families through offering social protection programs like Takaful and Karama Cash Transfers. She added that there is a pressing need to focus on education, awareness, and behavioural change. Thus, MoSS is currently working with ILO’s ACCEL Africa project on co-publishing a booklet about child labour to help raise awareness of the phenomenon, its short-term and long-term harms, legal and illegal forms of work for children, etc. The booklet is also meant to raise awareness of the future returns to education, a benefit many parents are unaware of when authorizing (and at time encouraging) their children to drop out of school and engage in income-generating activities.