CAIRO: The New Urban Communities Authority has banned the exploitation of children in cleaning the new cities, issuing warnings to all heads of the new cities against child labor, said its deputy chairman Adel Naguib.
Moreover, the authority will be sending warnings to all cleaning companies working in the new cities, threatening to terminate their contracts should they hire children, since it is a violation of the law.
Employees from the New Urban Communities Authority will be monitoring the streets in the coming period to ensure that the ban is enforced.
The Egyptian child labor law protects working children and offers them multiple rights such as minimum working hours. However, several employers exploit the children’s poor conditions and rarely abide by the law.
The amendments to the child law in 2008 criminalized child labor, stipulating that anyone who forces a child below the minimum age to work will be sentenced to three to six months in prison.
Earlier this month, local news portal Masrawy launched a series of articles about child labor and the exploitation of children in cleaning and constructing the new extension of the Ring Road. It started when journalist Khaled El-Barmawy saw the children between ages 10–15 working in the rough conditions of the summer during the day in the scorching heat.
El-Barmawy called and reported the incident to the hotline for children, 16000. Even though he hasn’t received any response, he later learned that Minister of Family and Population Moushira Khattab, along with the governor of Sixth of October, condemned the exploitation of children in garbage collection. However, there was no mention of the children on the Ring Road.
Social problems in Egypt such as poverty, over population, unemployment and education all contribute to the phenomenon of child labor in the country. More than 30 percent of the Egyptian population is not able to earn enough money to feed their family for one day, therefore, parents in these households force their children to work and depend on their income.