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Supporting unaccompanied children and youth in Egypt
- Founded in 1979, St Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through four main programs: education, legal, community outreach, and psychosocial services. StARS’ Unaccompanied Youth Bridging Program (UYBP) provides a hybrid education and psychosocial program for unaccompanied children and youth (UCY) in Cairo. These are refugee and migrant children and teenagers in Egypt without their parents. Children and youth in the program take Arabic, Math, Computer and English classes; and participate in psychosocial group activities aimed at increasing their life skills, their self-reliance and their self-protection capacity.
- Four out of six countries have legislation that permits certain migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, to reside in the community as an alternative to immigration detention. For example, Zambia’s Immigration Act provides for bail [Section 57) or report orders [Section 14]. Egyptian law allows for directed residence pending deportation, and South African law states that children and pregnant women must be held in appropriate and open shelters. Five out of six countries provided further examples of positive practices. Emergency housing and shelters for vulnerable migrants, asylum seekers and refugees – run by civil society organisations, government agencies, or both in partnership – are in use in Egypt, Kenya, and Zambia. In Kenya, asylum seekers are removed from detention and escorted to refugee camps pending the determination of their claim. In Egypt, Libya and Tanzania, there is evidence of good practice that is not prompted by law. It was reported that asylum seekers arriving in Egypt who are awaiting refugee status determination (RSD) by UNHCR, are not arrested when they approach immigration authorities. However, there is no Egyptian law authorising the residence of migrants and asylum seekers pending RSD. By conducting intake screening that looks not only at the vulnerabilities but also strengths of individuals, some detention centre managers in Libya have created innovative release-to-work programmes whereby migrants are issued ID cards and released under the protection of an employer, whose treatment of the migrants is regularly reviewed. Finally, despite law prohibiting refugees and asylum seekers from traveling more than four kilometres from camps in Tanzania without permits, the Ministry of Home Affairs issues exit permits to refugees who have a credible reason for exiting. Refugees arrested outside camps without permits are usually sentenced to community service rather than imprisonment, fines, and deportation – as was previously the case.
Providing legal representation for children in Egypt
- Article 3: The National Council for Childhood & Motherhood shall be the legal representative of the families of unaccompanied children, whose families or legal representatives cannot be identified.
Smuggled persons cannot be held criminally liable for migrant offences in Egypt
- Article (2): The smuggled migrant shall not bear any criminal or civil liability for the crimes of smuggling of migrants provided for in this Law. The consent of the smuggled migrants or the consent of the person responsible for them or their guardian shall not be considered in the crimes of smuggling of migrants provided for in this Law.
Education support for refugees
- Participating universities commit to granting full or partial fee waivers to Syrian students for at least one academic year.139 The Platform also administers an Emergency Fund which seeks donations and grants to support the scholarship program and provide additional assistance to students, such as language courses.140 Over 100 Syrian students have benefitted from the scholarship program to date. Most are studying in Portugal, but scholarships have also been offered in a range of other countries including Lebanon, the United States, France, Germany, Canada, Iraq, Argentina, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.141 The Platform is aiming to provide 700 new scholarships for Syrian students during the 2015-16 academic year.142
Reporting and Monitoring Requirements in Egypt
- Article 30 of Entry and Residence of Aliens in the Territories of the United Arab Republic and their Departure Therefrom (1960) (Amended by laws Nos.49/1968, 124/1980, 100/1983, 99/1996 and 88/2005) – should a deportation decision be difficult to enforce, the Director of Passport, Immigration and Nationality may order the non-resident in question to reside at a particular place and report to a specified police station according to a specified time frame until deportation occurs. Non-citizens who violate the terms of an order of deportation or banishment, fail to reside at a designated residence, or provide false statements or knowingly submit false documentation to Egyptian authorities can be sentenced with up to two years imprisonment and/or to pay a fine of up to two thousand pounds (Arts. 38, 40).
(Editor's note: United Arab Republic is Egypt's law).
Tailored support for trafficking survivors in Egypt
- Through its ongoing counter-trafficking projects, IOM also offers tailored assistance to migrant and Egyptian trafficked persons in Egypt. More specifically, based on individual needs, IOM offers its beneficiaries secure temporary accommodation, health care and mental health care, legal aid and livelihood assistance. With a view to strengthening the overall sphere of protection in Egypt, IOM also worked in partnership with the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the Ministry of Health to establish Egypt’s first shelter for victims of trafficking. IOM and its partners have also set up a medical recovery unit, which to date has served over 100 Egyptian and foreign victims of trafficking.