Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Egypt’s Child Labor Problem
April 10, 2006
Amhed, now 14, was 11 when he first began working in the rock quarries. All Africa Global Media reports that he, like 2,000 to 3,000 other children under the age of 18, is being illegally employed in one of the more than 500 rock quarries in and around the central Egyptian town of Minya, located some 250km south of Cairo. Because of the severity of the work and dangerous nature of the rock-cutting machines used in the quarries, the children work in risky environments where the slightest slip-up can lead to disabling injuries, or even death. Some of the blades are up to two feet in diameter- making dismemberment a constant danger.

All Africa Global Media reports:
"Quarry work is one of the worst forms of child labor in terms of hazardous occupations," said Nevine Osman, child-labor coordinator at the Egyptian office of the International Labor Organization (ILO). "The quarries are the worst of the worst."

Children take quarry jobs over others because they pay more. With new attention on the issue, Osman believes it is possible to eliminate child labor in quarries. The First Lady, Suzanne Mubarak, has stated her desire to have all child laborers out of quarries within the next two years.

Click here for the full story.

Bahai Rights Recognized
April 6, 2006
All Africa Global Media reports a ruling by the Administrative Court announced on April 4th recognizing the right of Egyptian Bahais to have their religion accredited on official documents.

“This is a landmark case. We feel our efforts have paid off," said Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information. "The authorities felt so threatened with exposure that they backed down and ruled in favor of the Bahais' inherent rights."

A similar ruling in 1983, for Bahais to properly identify themselves on documents, was ruled out later in 2004 by the interior ministry’s CSD. Since then they have had to sight themselves as either Muslim or Christian.

"It's unlikely that the ruling will, in itself, transform the situation of Bahais," said Eid. "But it does constitute a step on the long road to the creation of a more religiously tolerant society."

Click here for the full story.


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