Cairo, 18 August 2022 - Within the framework of the capacity building program integrated in the National Action Plan of enhancing the skills and knowledge of the Government of Egypt Officials working in the field of combatting the crime of trafficking in persons, and based on the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons’ (NCCPIM&TiP) belief of the significant role the civil society organizations play in Egypt in raising awareness of this crime and its forms. The workshop introduces the national protection system as well as a long-term treatment plan placed for victims of trafficking and as part of NCCPIM&TiP’s efforts to prevent the crime through the implementation of the third national strategy to combat trafficking in persons (2022-2026).
The first round of the workshop was held in Cairo for 30 members of the civil society association from five different governorates during the period from 16-18 August 2022, acknowledging the Associations National Law which is affiliated with the General Federation of NGOs and Civil Society Organizations. The workshop was organized by NCCPIM&TiP, in cooperation with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and with the generous support of the US State Department under the project ”Combating Human Trafficking in Egypt”, as well as with the support of the European Union through the Regional Development and Protection Program (RDPP).
Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of NCCPIM&TiP , inaugurated the workshop and emphasized during her speech about the pivotal role played by civil society organizations in providing services and protection to the most vulnerable groups, as well as in dealing with victims of trafficking, especially in raising awareness about the crime of trafficking in persons and its forms, providing protection and care services to victims , and create opportunities for them to facilitate their reintegration into society in order to avoid being exploited again.
Dr. Talaat Abdul Qawi, head of the General Federation of NGOs and a member of the House of Representatives, highlighted that civil society organizations have a prominent and essential role in addressing the crime of trafficking by working to eliminate the causes, foremost of which are poverty - unemployment - illiteracy - educational dropouts – high birth rate homeless children and other negative factors that lead to that crime. Civil society organizations organize humanitarian and cash support to families in need, encouraging the establishment of small and micro projects with an aim to reduce the causes of poverty and unemployment, expanding literacy projects, reduce the number of school dropouts, addressing the phenomenon of homeless children, raising awareness of family planning programs to reduce the increase in the birth rate. Finally, civil society organizations support raising awareness by introducing the trafficking crime and training of their members to combat this crime.
Mr. José Manuel Medina Checa, Enterprise Development and Job Creation Specialist at the ILO office in Cairo, expressed his happiness to attend the launching of the “Capacity Building Training for NGOs staff in Egypt on Responding to Victims of Trafficking”, which is the first activity under the “Combating Human Trafficking in Egypt" project, which aims to prevent human trafficking and protect victims, especially since it is in line with the Egyptian government’s vision, and is consistent with the President of the Republic’s directives to protect victims of trafficking and enhance the services delivered to them. He also highlighted that civil society organizations are a key partner in combating this crime, especially by contributing to providing care, education, training and rehabilitation programs for victims.
Laurent De Boeck, IOM Egypt Chief of Mission, also noted the commitment of IOM to support the new Human Rights Strategy by strengthening the skills and roles of civil society organizations in migration management, supporting the most vulnerable migrants, and most importantly protecting victims of trafficking in persons and help give the maximum support and services needed to the victims of such crime.
The spokeswoman for the European Union Delegation in Egypt indicated that in order to comprehensively prevent and combat the consequences of the crime of trafficking in persons, the European Commission published in 2021 the European Union Anti-Trafficking Strategy 2021-2025 as well as the strategy to address organized crimes, as these strategies are the basis for the European Union and its member states to prevent human trafficking as a crime, bring traffickers to justice and support victims of trafficking.
The workshop highlighted the definition of the crime of trafficking, its forms and the various aspects of services provided by the national entities concerned with dealing with victims of trafficking. The sessions were presented by NCCPIM&TiP, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Office of Prosecutor General and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood allowed fruitful discussions among participants about the most important challenges that these organizations face in contributing to providing services to victims in Egypt, in order to enhance the role of civil society organizations in efforts to deal with and support victims of trafficking in persons.
It is worth noting that this workshop is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically the Goal 8 "Decent work and economic growth", Goal 10 "Reduced inequalities", and Goal 16 "Peace, justice and strong institutions”; as well as come in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), Objective 10 “Prevent, combat and eradicate trafficking in persons in the context of international migration”.