EIPR calls for dialogue between Egypt, ‘competing social forces’

Kenneth Changpertitum
3 Min Read

The Egyptian Center for Personal Rights (EIPR) called for a dialogue between the state of Egypt and “competing social forces” in a study, titled “Opportunities for Social Dialogue in Egypt”, released by the organisation Monday.

According to the study, a lack of dialogue hampered the state from seeking fundamental solutions.

The principle causes of civil strife in Egypt were “the absence of effective, national channels for discussion or negotiation”, the study said.

The study cited a total number of 5,232 protests in 2013, to which the state responded with suppression.

Amnesty International reported early July that over 16,000 people have been detained by the Egyptian state since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi’s in July 2013.

Amnesty also noted there was a “surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture”.

The EIPR study said, however, that prior to the 25 January Revolution, “Egypt was in a state of increasing political and social distress”.

The study called on the state to raise awareness for “economic and political compromises,” and that lack of compromise has come “at the expense of a commitment to social justice”.

The study added that without an attempt to draw in participants from across the political spectrum in public policy, conflict would continue.

“The state made no serious attempt to address the issue” EIPR said. “Stable institutional frameworks for social dialogue must be created.”

The study had a focus on trade unions, the right to assembly, and the right to strike.

The study added that there was a need to “establish and protect the right of freedom of association and the swift issuance of a fair law regulating trade-union freedoms.”

The organisation stressed that joining trade unions must be encouraged and that deficiencies in the Egyptian economic structure need to be addressed.

The currents trade union law does not allow for freedom of association, the study said, and “in real practice, the independent unions are not legally recognised in many workplaces or according to Egyptian laws”.

“So far, the right of workers to strike has been curtailed,” the study added.

EIPR also called on the Egyptian state to “avoid any meddling in any social actors structures” that could de-legitimise their decision making.

“The state should be willing to offer compromises and engage in political and economic exchanges with the different social actors.”

EIPR is an independent rights organisation that works through advocacy and litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic justice and democracy.

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