Charged with Being Children

Egyptian Police Abuse of Children in Need of Protection

I. Fundamental Perspectives

1. The juvenile justice system should uphold the rights and safety and promote the physical and mental well-being of juveniles. Imprisonment should be used as a last resort.

2. Juveniles should only be deprived of their liberty in accordance with the principles and procedures set forth in these Rules and in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules). Deprivation of the liberty of a juvenile should be a disposition of last resort and for the minimum necessary period and should be limited to exceptional cases. The length of the sanction should be determined by the judicial authority, without precluding the possibility of his or her early release.

3. The Rules are intended to establish minimum standards accepted by the United Nations for the protection of juveniles deprived of their liberty in all forms, consistent with human rights and fundamental freedoms, and with a view to counteracting the detrimental effects of all types of detention and to fostering integration in society.

4. The Rules should be applied impartially, without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, age, language, religion, nationality, political or other opinion, cultural beliefs or practices, property, birth or family status, ethnic or social origin, and disability. The religious and cultural beliefs, practices and moral concepts of the juvenile should be respected.

5. The Rules are designed to serve as convenient standards of reference and to provide encouragement and guidance to professionals involved in the management of the juvenile justice system.

6. The Rules should be made readily available to juvenile justice personnel in their national languages. Juveniles who are not fluent in the language spoken by the personnel of the detention facility should have the right to the services of an interpreter free of charge whenever necessary, in particular during medical examinations and disciplinary proceedings.

7. Where appropriate, States should incorporate the Rules into their legislation or amend it accordingly and provide effective remedies for their breach, including compensation when injuries are inflicted on juveniles. States should also monitor the application of the Rules.

8. The competent authorities should constantly seek to increase the awareness of the public that the care of detained juveniles and preparation for their return to society is a social service of great importance, and to this end active steps should be taken to foster open contacts between the juveniles and the local community.

9. Nothing in the Rules should be interpreted as precluding the application of the relevant United Nations and human rights instruments and standards, recognized by the international community, that are more conducive to ensuring the rights, care and protection of juveniles, children and all young persons.

10. In the event that the practical application of particular Rules contained in sections II to V, inclusive, presents any conflict with the Rules contained in the present section, compliance with the latter shall be regarded as the predominant requirement.

II. Scope and Application of the Rules

11. For the purposes of the Rules, the following definitions should apply:

(a) A juvenile is every person under the age of 18. The age limit below which it should not be permitted to deprive a child of his or her liberty should be determined by law;

(b) The deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a person in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is not permitted to leave at will, by order of any judicial, administrative or other public authority.

12. The deprivation of liberty should be effected in conditions and circumstances which ensure respect for the human rights of juveniles. Juveniles detained in facilities should be guaranteed the benefit of meaningful activities and programmes which would serve to promote and sustain their health and self-respect, to foster their sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills that will assist them in developing their potential as members of society.

13. Juveniles deprived of their liberty shall not for any reason related to their status be denied the civil, economic, political, social or cultural rights to which they are entitled under national or international law, and which are compatible with the deprivation of liberty.

14. The protection of the individual rights of juveniles with special regard to the legality of the execution of the detention measures shall be ensured by the competent authority, while the objectives of social integration should be secured by regular inspections and other means of control carried out, according to international standards, national laws and regulations, by a duly constituted body authorized to visit the juveniles and not belonging to the detention facility.

15. The Rules apply to all types and forms of detention facilities in which juveniles are deprived of their liberty. Sections I, II, IV and V of the Rules apply to all detention facilities and institutional settings in which juveniles are detained, and section III applies specifically to juveniles under arrest or awaiting trial.

16. The Rules shall be implemented in the context of the economic, social and cultural conditions prevailing in each Member State.

III. Juveniles under Arrest or Awaiting Trail

17. Juveniles who are detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried'') are presumed innocent and shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoided to the extent possible and limited to exceptional circumstances. Therefore, all efforts shall be made to apply alternative measures. When preventive detention is nevertheless used, juvenile courts and investigative bodies shall give the highest priority to the most expeditious processing of such cases to ensure the shortest possible duration of detention. Untried detainees should be separated from convicted juveniles.

18. The conditions under which an untried juvenile is detained should be consistent with the rules set out below, with additional specific provisions as are necessary and appropriate, given the requirements of the presumption of innocence, the duration of the detention and the legal status and circumstances of the juvenile. These provisions would include, but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:

(a) Juveniles should have the right of legal counsel and be enabled to apply for free legal aid, where such aid is available, and to communicate regularly with their legal advisers. Privacy and confidentiality shall be ensured for such communications;

(b) Juveniles should be provided, where possible, with opportunities to pursue work, with remuneration, and continue education or training, but should not be required to do so. Work, education or training should not cause the continuation of the detention;

(c) Juveniles should receive and retain materials for their leisure and recreation as are compatible with the interests of the administration of justice.

IV. The Management of Juvenile Facilities

A. Records

19. All reports, including legal records, medical records and records of disciplinary proceedings, and all other documents relating to the form, content and details of treatment, should be placed in a confidential individual file, which should be kept up to date, accessible only to authorized persons and classified in such a way as to be easily understood. Where possible, every juvenile should have the right to contest any fact or opinion contained in his or her file so as to permit rectification of inaccurate, unfounded or unfair statements. In order to exercise this right, there should be procedures that allow an appropriate third party to have access to and to consult the file on request. Upon release, the records of juveniles shall be sealed, and, at an appropriate time, expunged.

20. No juvenile should be received in any detention facility without a valid commitment order of a judicial, administrative or other public authority. The details of this order should be immediately entered in the register. No juvenile should be detained in any facility where there is no such register.

B. Admission, registration, movement and transfer

21. In every place where juveniles are detained, a complete and secure record of the following information should be kept concerning each juvenile received:

(a) Information on the identity of the juvenile;

(b) The fact of and reasons for commitment and the authority therefor;

(c) The day and hour of admission, transfer and release;

(d) Details of the notifications to parents and guardians on every admission, transfer or release of the juvenile in their care at the time of commitment;

(e) Details of known physical and mental health problems, including drug and alcohol abuse.

22. The information on admission, place, transfer and release should be provided without delay to the parents and guardians or closest relative of the juvenile concerned.

23. As soon as possible after reception, full reports and relevant information on the personal situation and circumstances of each juvenile should be drawn up and submitted to the administration.

24. On admission, all juveniles shall be given a copy of the rules governing the detention facility and a written description of their rights and obligations in a language they can understand, together with the address of the authorities competent to receive complaints, as well as the address of public or private agencies and organizations which provide legal assistance. For those juveniles who are illiterate or who cannot understand the language in the written form, the information should be conveyed in a manner enabling full comprehension.

25. All juveniles should be helped to understand the regulations governing the internal organization of the facility, the goals and methodology of the care provided, the disciplinary requirements and procedures, other authorized methods of seeking information and of making complaints and all such other matters as are necessary to enable them to understand fully their rights and obligations during detention.

26. The transport of juveniles should be carried out at the expense of the administration in conveyances with adequate ventilation and light, in conditions that should in no way subject them to hardship or indignity. Juveniles should not be transferred from one facility to another arbitrarily.

C. Classification and placement

27. As soon as possible after the moment of admission, each juvenile should be interviewed, and a psychological and social report identifying any factors relevant to the specific type and level of care and programme required by the juvenile should be prepared. This report, together with the report prepared by a medical officer who has examined the juvenile upon admission, should be forwarded to the director for purposes of determining the most appropriate placement for the juvenile within the facility and the specific type and level of care and programme required and to be pursued. When special rehabilitative treatment is required, and the length of stay in the facility permits, trained personnel of the facility should prepare a written, individualized treatment plan specifying treatment objectives and time-frame and the means, stages and delays with which the objectives should be approached.

28. The detention of juveniles should only take place under conditions that take full account of their particular needs, status and special requirements according to their age, personality, sex and type of offence, as well as mental and physical health, and which ensure their protection from harmful influences and risk situations. The principal criterion for the separation of different categories of juveniles deprived of their liberty should be the provision of the type of care best suited to the particular needs of the individuals concerned and the protection of their physical, mental and moral integrity and well-being.

29. In all detention facilities juveniles should be separated from adults, unless they are members of the same family. Under controlled conditions, juveniles may be brought together with carefully selected adults as part of a special programme that has been shown to be beneficial for the juveniles concerned.

30. Open detention facilities for juveniles should be established. Open detention facilities are those with no or minimal security measures. The population in such detention facilities should be as small as possible. The number of juveniles detained in closed facilities should be small enough to enable individualized treatment. Detention facilities for juveniles should be decentralized and of such size as to facilitate access and contact between the juveniles and their families. Small-scale detention facilities should be established and integrated into the social, economic and cultural environment of the community.

D. Physical environment and accommodation

31. Juveniles deprived of their liberty have the right to facilities and services that meet all the requirements of health and human dignity.

32. The design of detention facilities for juveniles and the physical environment should be in keeping with the rehabilitative aim of residential treatment, with due regard to the need of the juvenile for privacy, sensory stimuli, opportunities for association with peers and participation in sports, physical exercise and leisure-time activities. The design and structure of juvenile detention facilities should be such as to minimize the risk of fire and to ensure safe evacuation from the premises. There should be an effective alarm system in case of fire, as well as formal and drilled procedures to ensure the safety of the juveniles. Detention facilities should not be located in areas where there are known health or other hazards or risks.

33. Sleeping accommodation should normally consist of small group dormitories or individual bedrooms, while bearing in mind local standards. During sleeping hours there should be regular, unobtrusive supervision of all sleeping areas, including individual rooms and group dormitories, in order to ensure the protection of each juvenile. Every juvenile should, in accordance with local or national standards, be provided with separate and sufficient bedding, which should be clean when issued, kept in good order and changed often enough to ensure cleanliness.

34. Sanitary installations should be so located and of a sufficient standard to enable every juvenile to comply, as required, with their physical needs in privacy and in a clean and decent manner.

35. The possession of personal effects is a basic element of the right to privacy and essential to the psychological well-being of the juvenile. The right of every juvenile to possess personal effects and to have adequate storage facilities for them should be fully recognized and respected. Personal effects that the juvenile does not choose to retain or that are confiscated should be placed in safe custody. An inventory thereof should be signed by the juvenile. Steps should be taken to keep them in good condition. All such articles and money should be returned to the juvenile on release, except in so far as he or she has been authorized to spend money or send such property out of the facility. If a juvenile receives or is found in possession of any medicine, the medical officer should decide what use should be made of it.

36. To the extent possible juveniles should have the right to use their own clothing. Detention facilities should ensure that each juvenile has personal clothing suitable for the climate and adequate to ensure good health, and which should in no manner be degrading or humiliating. Juveniles removed from or leaving a facility for any purpose should be allowed to wear their own clothing.

37. Every detention facility shall ensure that every juvenile receives food that is suitably prepared and presented at normal meal times and of a quality and quantity to satisfy the standards of dietetics, hygiene and health and, as far as possible, religious and cultural requirements. Clean drinking water should be available to every juvenile at any time.

E. Education, vocational training and work

38. Every juvenile of compulsory school age has the right to education suited to his or her needs and abilities and designed to prepare him or her for return to society. Such education should be provided outside the detention facility in community schools wherever possible and, in any case, by qualified teachers through programmes integrated with the education system of the country so that, after release, juveniles may continue their education without difficulty. Special attention should be given by the administration of the detention facilities to the education of juveniles of foreign origin or with particular cultural or ethnic needs. Juveniles who are illiterate or have cognitive or learning difficulties should have the right to special education.

39. Juveniles above compulsory school age who wish to continue their education should be permitted and encouraged to do so, and every effort should be made to provide them with access to appropriate educational programmes.

40. Diplomas or educational certificates awarded to juveniles while in detention should not indicate in any way that the juvenile has been institutionalized.

41. Every detention facility should provide access to a library that is adequately stocked with both instructional and recreational books and periodicals suitable for the juveniles, who should be encouraged and enabled to make full use of it.

42. Every juvenile should have the right to receive vocational training in occupations likely to prepare him or her for future employment.

43. With due regard to proper vocational selection and to the requirements of institutional administration, juveniles should be able to choose the type of work they wish to perform.

44. All protective national and international standards applicable to child labour and young workers should apply to juveniles deprived of their liberty.

45. Wherever possible, juveniles should be provided with the opportunity to perform remunerated labour, if possible within the local community, as a complement to the vocational training provided in order to enhance the possibility of finding suitable employment when they return to their communities. The type of work should be such as to provide appropriate training that will be of benefit to the juveniles following release. The organization and methods of work offered in detention facilities should resemble as closely as possible those of similar work in the community, so as to prepare juveniles for the conditions of normal occupational life.

46. Every juvenile who performs work should have the right to an equitable remuneration. The interests of the juveniles and of their vocational training should not be subordinated to the purpose of making a profit for the detention facility or a third party. Part of the earnings of a juvenile should normally be set aside to constitute a savings fund to be handed over to the juvenile on release. The juvenile should have the right to use the remainder of those earnings to purchase articles for his or her own use or to indemnify the victim injured by his or her offence or to send it to his or her family or other persons outside the detention facility.

F. Recreation

47. Every juvenile should have the right to a suitable amount of time for daily free exercise, in the open air whenever weather permits, during which time appropriate recreational and physical training should normally be provided. Adequate space, installations and equipment should be provided for these activities. Every juvenile should have additional time for daily leisure activities, part of which should be devoted, if the juvenile so wishes, to arts and crafts skill development. The detention facility should ensure that each juvenile is physically able to participate in the available programmes of physical education. Remedial physical education and therapy should be offered, under medical supervision, to juveniles needing it.

G. Religion

48. Every juvenile should be allowed to satisfy the needs of his or her religious and spiritual life, in particular by attending the services or meetings provided in the detention facility or by conducting his or her own services and having possession of the necessary books or items of religious observance and instruction of his or her denomination. If a detention facility contains a sufficient number of juveniles of a given religion, one or more qualified representatives of that religion should be appointed or approved and allowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to juveniles at their request. Every juvenile should have the right to receive visits from a qualified representative of any religion of his or her choice, as well as the right not to participate in religious services and freely to decline religious education, counselling or indoctrination.

H. Medical care

49. Every juvenile shall receive adequate medical care, both preventive and remedial, including dental, ophthalmological and mental health care, as well as pharmaceutical products and special diets as medically indicated. All such medical care should, where possible, be provided to detained juveniles through the appropriate health facilities and services of the community in which the detention facility is located, in order to prevent stigmatization of the juvenile and promote self-respect and integration into the community.

50. Every juvenile has a right to be examined by a physician immediately upon admission to a detention facility, for the purpose of recording any evidence of prior ill-treatment and identifying any physical or mental condition requiring medical attention.

51. The medical services provided to juveniles should seek to detect and should treat any physical or mental illness, substance abuse or other condition that may hinder the integration of the juvenile into society. Every detention facility for juveniles should have immediate access to adequate medical facilities and equipment appropriate to the number and requirements of its residents and staff trained in preventive health care and the handling of medical emergencies. Every juvenile who is ill, who complains of illness or who demonstrates symptoms of physical or mental difficulties, should be examined promptly by a medical officer.

52. Any medical officer who has reason to believe that the physical or mental health of a juvenile has been or will be injuriously affected by continued detention, a hunger strike or any condition of detention should report this fact immediately to the director of the detention facility in question and to the independent authority responsible for safeguarding the well-being of the juvenile.

53. A juvenile who is suffering from mental illness should be treated in a specialized institution under independent medical management. Steps should be taken, by arrangement with appropriate agencies, to ensure any necessary continuation of mental health care after release.

54. Juvenile detention facilities should adopt specialized drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation programmes administered by qualified personnel. These programmes should be adapted to the age, sex and other requirements of the juveniles concerned, and detoxification facilities and services staffed by trained personnel should be available to drug- or alcohol-dependent juveniles.

55. Medicines should be administered only for necessary treatment on medical grounds and, when possible, after having obtained the informed consent of the juvenile concerned. In particular, they must not be administered with a view to eliciting information or a confession, as a punishment or as a means of restraint. Juveniles shall never be testers in the experimental use of drugs and treatment. The administration of any drug should always be authorized and carried out by qualified medical personnel.

I. Notification of illness, injury and death

56. The family or guardian of a juvenile and any other person designated by the juvenile have the right to be informed of the state of health of the juvenile on request and in the event of any important changes in the health of the juvenile. The director of the detention facility should notify immediately the family or guardian of the juvenile concerned, or other designated person, in case of death, illness requiring transfer of the juvenile to an outside medical facility, or a condition requiring clinical care within the detention facility for more than 48 hours. Notification should also be given to the consular authorities of the State of which a foreign juvenile is a citizen.

57. Upon the death of a juvenile during the period of deprivation of liberty, the nearest relative should have the right to inspect the death certificate, see the body and determine the method of disposal of the body. Upon the death of a juvenile in detention, there should be an independent inquiry into the causes of death, the report of which should be made accessible to the nearest relative. This inquiry should also be made when the death of a juvenile occurs within six months from the date of his or her release from the detention facility and there is reason to believe that the death is related to the period of detention.

58. A juvenile should be informed at the earliest possible time of the death, serious illness or injury of any immediate family member and should be provided with the opportunity to attend the funeral of the deceased or go to the bedside of a critically ill relative.

J. Contacts with the wider community

59. Every means should be provided to ensure that juveniles have adequate communication with the outside world, which is an integral part of the right to fair and humane treatment and is essential to the preparation of juveniles for their return to society. Juveniles should be allowed to communicate with their families, friends and other persons or representatives of reputable outside organizations, to leave detention facilities for a visit to their home and family and to receive special permission to leave the detention facility for educational, vocational or other important reasons. Should the juvenile be serving a sentence, the time spent outside a detention facility should be counted as part of the period of sentence.

60. Every juvenile should have the right to receive regular and frequent visits, in principle once a week and not less than once a month, in circumstances that respect the need of the juvenile for privacy, contact and unrestricted communication with the family and the defence counsel.

61. Every juvenile should have the right to communicate in writing or by telephone at least twice a week with the person of his or her choice, unless legally restricted, and should be assisted as necessary in order effectively to enjoy this right. Every juvenile should have the right to receive correspondence.

62. Juveniles should have the opportunity to keep themselves informed regularly of the news by reading newspapers, periodicals and other publications, through access to radio and television programmes and motion pictures, and through the visits of the representatives of any lawful club or organization in which the juvenile is interested.

K. Limitations of physical restraint and the use of force

63. Recourse to instruments of restraint and to force for any purpose should be prohibited, except as set forth in rule 64 below.

64. Instruments of restraint and force can only be used in exceptional cases, where all other control methods have been exhausted and failed, and only as explicitly authorized and specified by law and regulation. They should not cause humiliation or degradation, and should be used restrictively and only for the shortest possible period of time. By order of the director of the administration, such instruments might be resorted to in order to prevent the juvenile from inflicting self-injury, injuries to others or serious destruction of property. In such instances, the director should at once consult medical and other relevant personnel and report to the higher administrative authority.

65. The carrying and use of weapons by personnel should be prohibited in any facility where juveniles are detained.

L. Disciplinary procedures

66. Any disciplinary measures and procedures should maintain the interest of safety and an ordered community life and should be consistent with the upholding of the inherent dignity of the juvenile and the fundamental objective of institutional care, namely, instilling a sense of justice, self-respect and respect for the basic rights of every person.

67. All disciplinary measures constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be strictly prohibited, including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health of the juvenile concerned. The reduction of diet and the restriction or denial of contact with family members should be prohibited for any purpose. Labour should always be viewed as an educational tool and a means of promoting the self-respect of the juvenile in preparing him or her for return to the community and should not be imposed as a disciplinary sanction. No juvenile should be sanctioned more than once for the same disciplinary infraction. Collective sanctions should be prohibited.

68. Legislation or regulations adopted by the competent administrative authority should establish norms concerning the following, taking full account of the fundamental characteristics, needs and rights of juveniles:

(a) Conduct constituting a disciplinary offence;

(b) Type and duration of disciplinary sanctions that may be inflicted;

(c) The authority competent to impose such sanctions;

(d) The authority competent to consider appeals.

69. A report of misconduct should be presented promptly to the competent authority, which should decide on it without undue delay. The competent authority should conduct a thorough examination of the case.

70. No juvenile should be disciplinarily sanctioned except in strict accordance with the terms of the law and regulations in force. No juvenile should be sanctioned unless he or she has been informed of the alleged infraction in a manner appropriate to the full understanding of the juvenile, and given a proper opportunity of presenting his or her defence, including the right of appeal to a competent impartial authority. Complete records should be kept of all disciplinary proceedings.

71. No juveniles should be responsible for disciplinary functions except in the supervision of specified social, educational or sports activities or in self-government programmes.

M. Inspection and complaints

72. Qualified inspectors or an equivalent duly constituted authority not belonging to the administration of the facility should be empowered to conduct inspections on a regular basis and to undertake unannounced inspections on their own initiative, and should enjoy full guarantees of independence in the exercise of this function. Inspectors should have unrestricted access to all persons employed by or working in any facility where juveniles are or may be deprived of their liberty, to all juveniles and to all records of such facilities.

73. Qualified medical officers attached to the inspecting authority or the public health service should participate in the inspections, evaluating compliance with the rules concerning the physical environment, hygiene, accommodation, food, exercise and medical services, as well as any other aspect or conditions of institutional life that affect the physical and mental health of juveniles. Every juvenile should have the right to talk in confidence to any inspecting officer.

74. After completing the inspection, the inspector should be required to submit a report on the findings. The report should include an evaluation of the compliance of the detention facilities with the present rules and relevant provisions of national law, and recommendations regarding any steps considered necessary to ensure compliance with them. Any facts discovered by an inspector that appear to indicate that a violation of legal provisions concerning the rights of juveniles or the operation of a juvenile detention facility has occurred should be communicated to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

75. Every juvenile should have the opportunity of making requests or complaints to the director of the detention facility and to his or her authorized representative.

76. Every juvenile should have the right to make a request or complaint, without censorship as to substance, to the central administration, the judicial authority or other proper authorities through approved channels, and to be informed of the response without delay.

77. Efforts should be made to establish an independent office (ombudsman) to receive and investigate complaints made by juveniles deprived of their liberty and to assist in the achievement of equitable settlements.

78. Every juvenile should have the right to request assistance from family members, legal counsellors, humanitarian groups or others where possible, in order to make a complaint. Illiterate juveniles should be provided with assistance should they need to use the services of public or private agencies and organizations which provide legal counsel or which are competent to receive complaints.

N. Return to the community

79. All juveniles should benefit from arrangements designed to assist them in returning to society, family life, education or employment after release. Procedures, including early release, and special courses should be devised to this end.

80. Competent authorities should provide or ensure services to assist juveniles in re-establishing themselves in society and to lessen prejudice against such juveniles. These services should ensure', to the extent possible, that the juvenile is provided with suitable residence, employment, clothing, and sufficient means to maintain himself or herself upon release in order to facilitate successful reintegration. The representatives of agencies providing such services should be consulted and should have access to juveniles while detained, with a view to assisting them in their return to the community.

V. Personnel

81. Personnel should be qualified and include a sufficient number of specialists such as educators, vocational instructors, counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists. These and other specialist staff should normally be employed on a permanent basis. This should not preclude part-time or volunteer workers when the level of support and training they can provide is appropriate and beneficial. Detention facilities should make use of all remedial, educational, moral, spiritual, and other resources and forms of assistance that are appropriate and available in the community, according to the individual needs and problems of detained juveniles.

82. The administration should provide for the careful selection and recruitment of every grade and type of personnel, since the proper management of detention facilities depends on their integrity, humanity, ability and professional capacity to deal with juveniles, as well as personal suitability for the work.

83. To secure the foregoing ends, personnel should be appointed as professional officers with adequate remuneration to attract and retain suitable women and men. The personnel of juvenile detention facilities should be continually encouraged to fulfil their duties and obligations in a humane, committed, professional, fair and efficient manner, to conduct themselves at all times in such a way as to deserve and gain the respect of the juveniles, and to provide juveniles with a positive role model and perspective.

84. The administration should introduce forms of organization and management that facilitate communications between different categories of staff in each detention facility so as to enhance cooperation between the various services engaged in the care of juveniles, as well as between staff and the administration, with a view to ensuring that staff directly in contact with juveniles are able to function in conditions favourable to the efficient fulfilment of their duties.

85. The personnel should receive such training as will enable them to carry out their responsibilities effectively, in particular training in child psychology, child welfare and international standards and norms of human rights and the rights of the child, including the present Rules. The personnel should maintain and improve their knowledge and professional capacity by attending courses of in-service training, to be organized at suitable intervals throughout their career.

86. The director of a facility should be adequately qualified for his or her task, with administrative ability and suitable training and experience, and should carry out his or her duties on a full-time basis.

87. In the performance of their duties, personnel of detention facilities should respect and protect the human dignity and fundamental human rights of all juveniles, in particular, as follows:

(a) No member of the detention facility or institutional personnel may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or any form of harsh, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, punishment, correction or discipline under any pretext or circumstance whatsoever;

(b) All personnel should rigorously oppose and combat any act of corruption, reporting it without delay to the competent authorities;

(c) All personnel should respect the present Rules. Personnel who have reason to believe that a serious violation of the present Rules has occurred or is about to occur should report the matter to their superior authorities or organs vested with reviewing or remedial power;

(d) All personnel should ensure the full protection of the physical and mental health of juveniles, including protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and exploitation, and should take immediate action to secure medical attention whenever required;

(e) All personnel should respect the right of the juvenile to privacy, and, in particular, should safeguard all confidential matters concerning juveniles or their families learned as a result of their professional capacity;

(f) All personnel should seek to minimize any differences between life inside and outside the detention facility which tend to lessen due respect for the dignity of juveniles as human beings.

Acknowledgments

This report was written by Clarisa Bencomo, researcher for the Children's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, based on five weeks of research conducted in Cairo, Egypt in June and July 2002.

Lois Whitman, executive director of the Children's Rights Division, Michael Bochenek, counsel to the Children's Rights Division, James Ross, senior legal advisor, and Joseph Saunders, deputy program director, edited the report. A. Widney Brown, deputy program director, and LaShawn Jefferson, executive director of the Women's Rights Division, reviewed portions of the report dealing with sexual violence. Fitzroy Hepkins, Patrick Minges, and Dana Sommers provided production assistance in the United States, and Gamal Eid provided research and production assistance in Egypt.

Human Rights Watch gratefully acknowledges the Independence Foundation and the Oak Foundation for their financial support for our work on children's rights.

We are indebted to many individuals and organizations who provided information, advice, and assistance during the research and preparation of this report. These include the Arab Council for Childhood and Development; the Alternative Center for Development; the Association for Human Rights Legal Aid; the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights; the Hisham Mubarak Center; Dr. `Azza Kuraym, the National Center for Social and Criminal Studies; Terre de Hommes; and the World Bank Egypt Office. In addition, General Sayyed Mohammadayn and Brigadier Yasir `Abu Shahdi of the Ministry of Interior and Ambassador Mushira Khattab and Justice Mohammad al Gindi of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood provided invaluable assistance in understanding their agencies' policies on juvenile justice.

We also wish to thank individuals and organizations that have asked not to be publicly identified but who nevertheless contributed their expertise and advise to our research.

Finally, this report would not have been possible without the help of the many children who agreed to share their experiences with us. The names of all the children we interviewed have been changed to protect their privacy.

Human Rights Watch

Children's Rights Division

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The staff includes Kenneth Roth, executive director; Michele Alexander,development director; Carroll Bogert, communications director; Widney A.Brown, deputy program director; John T. Green, operations director, Barbara Guglielmo, finance director; Lotte Leicht, Brussels office director; Iain Levine, program director; Patrick Minges, publications director; Rory Mungoven, advocacy director; Maria Pignataro Nielsen, human resources director; Joseph Saunders, deputy program director; Wilder Tayler, legal and policy director; and Joanna Weschler, United

Nations representative. Jonathan Fanton is the chair of the board.Robert L. Bernstein is the founding chair.

Its Children's Rights Division was established in 1994 to monitor and promote the human rights of children around the world. Lois Whitman is the director; Jo Becker is advocacy director; Michael Bochenek and Zama Coursen-Neff are counsel; Clarisa Bencomo and C. Anthony Tate are researchers; and Dana Sommers and Colin Relihan are associates. Jane Green Schaller is chair and Roland Algrant is the vice-chair of the advisory committee.

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[1] The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, created by Presidential Decree no. 54 of 1988, is closely associated with Egypt's First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, who chairs its advisory Technical Committee. The Council is chaired by the Egyptian prime minister and its membership includes thirteen ministers. See The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, "The Council" [online], http://www.nccm.org.eg/ (retrieved July 20, 2002).

[2] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 1, adopted November 20, 1989, G.A. Res. 44/25, U.N. Doc. A/RES/44/25 (entered into force September 2, 1990). Egypt's Child Law also defines "child" as any person who has not attained eighteen years of age. Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 13 [adjunct], March 28, 1996 (in Arabic), article 2.

[3] The Cabinet of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Child Law No. 12/1996, (Cairo, Egypt: no date, in English).

[4] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[5] See Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 13 [adjunct], March 28, 1996 (in Arabic), article 96.

[6] Child Law, articles 94-134. For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see Chapter VI.

[7] Prime Ministerial Decree 3452 of 1997 enacting the Executive Statute of Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 48 [adjunct], November 27, 1997, articles 203-204. For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see Chapter VI.

[8] A 2001 survey of fifty street children between ten and eighteen years of age (average age thirteen) produced similar findings: asked to identify the direct reasons for their street existence, 82 percent of children gave child abuse by the family or at work, and 62 percent indicated parental neglect; in addition, 62 percent of the children "came from broken families due to divorce, separation, the death of one or more parents, imprisonment of a parent or both, or extreme sickness of a parent or both." Abt Enterprises LLC, Rapid Situation Assessment of Street Children in Cairo and Alexandria: Final Report, March 29, 2001, Prepared for the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the World Food Program, and the U.N. International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), pp. 17, 18.

[9] Most of the boys we interviewed earn money by staking out a high turn-over parking area, often near a busy restaurant or shopping district, where they direct cars in and out of parking spaces and wipe dust from parked cars with a rag. Drivers in Cairo generally tip 0.50LE to 1LE (approximately U.S.$0.11 to U.S.$0.22) for this service, and especially sympathetic children may easily earn more. Competition for spots in prime areas can be fierce, and children compete not only with each other but with men. Human Rights Watch interview with Amin N., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[10] Human Rights Watch interview with Yasir I., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[11] Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean, and calling someone a dog is extremely offensive. In Egypt, the government conducts regular campaigns to eradicate stray dogs during which police shoot any dog they find on the street. Human Rights Watch interview with Amr R. , Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[12] Human Rights Watch interview with Wafa' R, Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[13] Human Rights Watch interview with Thabit A., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[14] Human Rights Watch interview with Anwar R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[15] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[16] Child Law, article 64. The same article allows for exceptions to the prohibition  on children under fourteen working. For example, children twelve to fourteen years of age may receive vocational training and take part in seasonal agricultural work, provided that the work "is not hazardous to their health and growth, and does not interfere with their studies," subject to approval by the Ministry of Education and the responsible governor. 

[17] The estimate was based on a nationally representative, multistage, stratified, probability cluster sample of adolescents conducted in 1997. The total sample size was 13,271 households, and included children involved in paid and unpaid labor. Population Council, Social and Health Status and Educational Achievement of Adolescents in Egypt (Cairo, Egypt: Population Council, 1998). Selected data from the study are available at http://www.aucegypt.edu/src/childlabor/ASCE.htm (retrieved September 6, 2002). See also Human Rights Watch, "Underage and Unprotected: Child Labor in Egypt's Cotton Fields," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 13, no. 1(E), January 2001; and Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Advancing the Campaign Against Child Labor: Efforts at the Country Level (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, 2002), pp. 83-89.

[18] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayman M., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[19] Human Rights Watch interview with Yusif H., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[20] Human Rights Watch interview with Suliman M., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[21] See the Convention on the Rights of the Child, articles 28 and 29; the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, article 13; and the General Comments of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child and the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which provide authoritative guidance on the interpretation of the right to education in those two treaties. For a broader discussion of the impact of the right to education, see the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (New York: United Nations, 2001), E/CN. 4/2001/52, paras. 6-14; and Human Rights Watch, Second Class: Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel's Schools (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2001). International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI). 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force January 3, 1976); Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 1, The Aims of Education, April 17, 2001, paras. 1-4; Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 29, The Right to Education, December 8, 1999, para. 1.

[22] A 2001 survey of fifty street children between ten and eighteen years of age (average age thirteen) found similarly high rates of non-attendance. Seventy percent of those children were dropouts and 30 percent had never been enrolled in school. Abt Enterprises LLC, Rapid Situation Assessment, pp. 15-16.

[23] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 28; International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, article 13.

[24] Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as amended, articles 18, 20; and Child Law, article 59. Egyptian Basic Education consists of primary education (grades one through six, corresponding with ages six through eleven), and preparatory education (grades seven through nine, corresponding with ages twelve through fourteen).

[25] Education Law 139 of 1981 allows for public schools to charge fees for services, insurance, and equipment. The 2000 Egypt Demographic Health Survey found median family expenditures per child among children age six to fifteen attending public schools were 25.3LE for registration and tuition fees, 66.7LE for uniforms/other clothing/bags, 31.8LE for textbooks/supplies, and 10.1LE for tutoring/special classes for a total of 133.9 LE, or approximately U.S.$35 at the 2000 exchange rate. Fatma El-Zanaty and Ann A. Way, Egypt Demographic and Health Survey 2000 (Ministry of Health and Population, January 2001), pp. 210-211.

[26] Based on the preliminary results of the 1999/2000 Household Income Expenditure Survey, the International Labor Organization estimates that over 20 percent (approximately twelve million people) of the Egyptian population fall below the lower poverty line (signifying an inability to satisfy their basic food and non-food needs), and over 50 percent of the population (almost thirty-two million people) fall below the upper poverty line (reflecting actual consumption expenditure of the poor, and not essential needs only). See Naglaa El-Ehwany and Heba El-Laithy, Poverty, Employment and Policy-Making in Egypt: A Country Profile (Cairo: Egypt, International Labor Organization Area Office, October 2001), pp. 13-14; and El-Zanaty and Way, Egypt Demographic and Health Survey 2000, pp. 10-11, 57-58.

[27] A 2001 International Labor Organization study on Egypt found levels of education "to be a major explanatory factor for the observed patterns of poverty," with poverty being "highest and most severe for illiterate individuals."  Seventy-four percent of illiterate individuals belonged to households whose head was illiterate, and school enrollment rates for school-age children was "considerably lower for poor households compared to non-poor." More than 20 percent of mothers interviewed in the 2000 Egypt Demographic Health Survey listed cost related reasons for why their child dropped out of school, with 12.2 percent specifying a need for the child's labor. These rates were even higher for girls, 23.9 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively. El-Ehwany and El-Laithy, Poverty, Employment and Policy-Making in Egypt, pp. 13-14; and El-Zanaty and Way, Egypt Demographic and Health Survey 2000, p. 207.

[28] Child Law, article 96(6). For a discussion of Egypt's School Health Insurance Program, see A.K. Nandakumar et. al, "Health reform for children: the Egyptian experience with school health insurance," Health Policy, vol. 50, issue 3, January 2000, pp 155-170, and Hassan Abd El Fattah, MD, et. al, The Health Insurance Organization of Egypt: An Analytical Review and Strategy for Reform, Technical Report no. 43, (Bethesda, MD: Partnerships for Health Reform Project, Abt Associates LLC, August 1997).

[29] Entry to all secondary level education is contingent on obtaining a Basic Education Certificate, issued after completing the preparatory level final examination. See Nagwa Megahed, "Secondary Education Reforms in Egypt: Rectifying Inequality of Educational and Employment Opportunities," Improving Educational Quality (IEQ) Project: Case Studies in Secondary Education Reform (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development, June 2002), p. 48.

[30] Nationally, girls of all backgrounds are less likely to enter school than boys, and more likely to drop out. A 2000 national survey of children age six to fifteen found that 14 percent of girls were not currently attending school, compared to 8 percent of boys. Mothers of children who had never attended school gave cost-related reasons to explain non-attendance in 44.9 percent of cases involving girls, compared to 29.9 percent of cases involving boys, and gave cost-related reasons to explain why a child dropped out in 23.9 percent of cases involving girls, compared to 18.4 percent of cases involving boys. El-Zanaty and Way, Egypt Demographic and Health Survey 2000, pp. 203-208.

[31] Human Rights Watch interview with Wafa' R.

[32] Human Rights Watch interview with Ilham N., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[33] Human Rights Watch interview with Reem G., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[34] Human Rights Watch interview with Suliman M.

[35] Human Rights Watch interview with Yusif H.

[36] Human Rights Watch interview with `Amr R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[37] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y.

[38] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayman M.

[39] Human Rights Watch interview with Hoda L., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[40] Human Rights Watch interview with Seif S., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[41] See Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 13 [adjunct], March 28, 1996 (in Arabic), articles 94-143; and Prime Ministerial Decree 3452 of 1997 enacting the Executive Statute of Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 48 [adjunct], November 27, 1997 (in Arabic), articles 200-240. For a critique of Juvenile Act 31 of 1974 and discussion of its similarities with Child Law 12 of 1996, see Dr. Adel Azer and Imam Bibars, Protecting Vulnerable Children: the Case of Juvenile Delinquents, Draft, (Cairo: UNICEF Egypt Country Office, 1998), pp. 4-11.

[42] Child Law, articles 101-112. See Appendix A for the full list of measures that can be taken in cases involving children "vulnerable to delinquency" and children under fifteen who commit crimes. Children over fifteen but under sixteen years of age who commit crimes punishable by imprisonment or death may be sentenced to imprisonment, probation, or commitment to a social welfare institution for not less than one year at the court's discretion.

[43] Child Law, articles 98, 113, 114, and 116.

[44] Child Law, article 143.

[45] Certain social welfare experts (muraqibin ijtima`in) appointed by the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are also authorized to make arrests. The role of these experts is described in Chapter VII, below.  See also Child Law, article 117, and more generally, Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs Decree 130 of 1996.

[46]Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[47] Ibid. See alsoDr. Nagwa Hafith et al., The al Marg Penal Institution for Juveniles: An Evaluation of the Conditions in the Institution in 1997 (Cairo: National Center for Social and Criminal Studies, 1999, in Arabic).

[48] Egyptian officials denied that convicted girls over fifteen were imprisoned with adults, but did not provide Human Rights Watch with concrete information on what happened to these girls. One public prosecution official told us that when girls over fifteen are convicted "We go to the social experts and pressure them to deal with it." Human Rights Watch interview with Khaled Mohammad Khass, Chief of the Cairo Public Prosecution Office for Juveniles, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2002, and Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[49] Although the Egyptian Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the Judicial Authority Law grants the Minister of Justice significant oversight powers over courts and judges.  See, for example, Judicial Authority Law 46 of 1972, Official Gazette no. 40, October 5, 1972, as amended (in Arabic) articles 58, 78 and 93; and Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt, as amended, articles 165, 166.

[50] The General Administration for the Legal Protection of Children has responsibility, in coordination with other national bodies, for developing and implementing national strategy on juvenile justice issues, including compiling statistics on juvenile delinquency and providing legal assistance to children. Officials at the National Council For Childhood and Motherhood told Human Rights Watch that the Ministry of Justice had appointed an official to head the General Administration but had yet to appoint other staff.  See Minister of Justice Decree 2235 of 1997; and Government of Egypt, Second Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (New York: United Nations, September 18, 1998), CR/C/65/Add.9, paras. 12-15.  Human Rights Watch interview with Judge Mohammad al Gindi, member of the Technical Committee of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Heliopolis, Egypt, July 28, 2002; and Human Rights Watch interview with Ambassador Moushira Khattab, secretary general of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Cairo, Egypt, July 28, 2002.

[51] Human Rights Watch interviews with Chief Justice Ahmed Hussayn Mohammad Mi`ad, Cairo Juvenile Court, and Khaled Mohammad Khass.

[52] See, Baudouin Dupret and Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron, "Introduction: A General Presentation of Law and Judicial Bodies," in Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron and Baudouin Dupret, eds., Egypt and Its Laws (New York: Kluwer Law International, 2002), p. xxxviii, and A. el Sawi, "Law Professionals," in Egypt and Its Laws, pp. 197-208.

[53] Child Law, articles 98-101; Code of Criminal Procedures (Law 150 of 1950) [amended] (in Arabic), article 36.

[54] Child Law, article 120.

[55] In the Cairo governorate, which has two circuits of the Court of First Instance, the juvenile court consists of two panels of three judges each. E-mail message from Mohammad `Abd al Mon`im, director, the Association for Human Rights Legal Aid, Cairo, Egypt, to Human Rights Watch, September 10, 2002.

[56] A child charged with participating in a felony committed by an adult is tried before an adult court if he or she was over fifteen years of age at the time of the crime. Depending on the nature of the felony, the court with jurisdiction would be either the Criminal Court (mahkamat al jinayat) or the Supreme State Security Court (mahkhamat amn al dawla al `uliya). Child Law, article 122.

[57] Child Law, articles 121, 127.

[58] Child Law, article 126.

[59] Ibid. If the court orders the child to leave the hearing it may not also order the lawyer or social welfare expert to leave, and the court cannot convict the child until after it has explained to the child what took place in his or her absence.

[60] Child Law, article 125.

[61] While article 119 prohibits "preventative detention" of children under fifteen, it nevertheless allows for the public prosecutor to detain a child in an observation facility for up to one week, which can be extended by court order "in accordance with the rules for preventive detention specified in the Code of Criminal Procedures." The Code of Criminal Procedures allows for preventive custody in a number of circumstances, including cases where the suspect is accused of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment and "does not have a known regular place of residence in Egypt," which would apply to many cases involving children living on the street. Such orders generally expire after fifteen days, but can be renewed by an investigating judge for up to a total of forty-five days. Child Law, article 119; and Code of Criminal Procedures, articles 134, 142.

[62] Child Law, article 134.

[63] See also Abt Enterprises LLC, Rapid Situation Assessment of Street Children in Cairo and Alexandria: Final Report, March 29, 2001, Prepared for the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the World Food Program, and the U.N. International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), pp. 35-41; and Government of Egypt, Second Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child,  paras. 199-207.

[64] Child Law, article 135.

[65] Child Law, article 117.

[66] Human Rights Watch interview with Yusif H., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[67] One child reported that higher-ranking police officers sometimes intervened to stop sexual abuse of girls in custody by lower ranking officers. See Chapter V.

[68] For example, the head of a development organization told Human Rights Watch that he and other riders intervened to prevent transit police from arresting a young boy selling newspapers on the Cairo metro in July 2002 after they witnessed the police beating the boy while attempting to arrest him. Human Rights Watch interview with Mahmud Mortada, director, the Alternative Center for Development, Cairo, Egypt, July 20, 2002.

[69] Human Rights Watch did not document other cases where electric batons were used against children "vulnerable to delinquency" during arrest, and we do not know how widespread this practice is. Police use of electric shock to torture detainees held at police stations is well documented, including some cases involving children. See, for example, U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture, Report to the Commission on Human Rights 57th Sess., January 25, 2001, E/CN.4/2001/66, paras. 415-476; and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Victims without Rights: Torture in Police Stations and Detention Centers in Egypt (Cairo: EOHR, March 2002, in Arabic).

[70] Human Rights Watch interview with Anwar R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[71] Human Rights Watch interview with Ziyad N., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[72] Human Rights Watch interview with Seif S., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[73] Human Rights Watch interview with Nagla' R., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[74] See also Chapter V.

[75] See Chapter V for a discussion of extortion in police lockups. Human Rights Watch interview with mid-level and lower-level police officers, Bulaq al Dakrur Police Station, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002.

[76] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[77] Human Rights Watch interview with Farida N., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[78] Human Rights Watch interview with Ziyad N.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y.

[81] Human Rights Watch interview with Thabit A., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[82] See Chapter V for a discussion of police sexual abuse and violence against girls in custody.

[83] Human Rights Watch interview with Nawal A., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[84] Human Rights Watch interview with Ilham N., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[85] Police also use confiscated microbuses during arrest campaigns against adults. An experienced Egyptian human rights lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the practice was particularly common during the early 1990s, and that he had once filed a complaint on behalf of 120 taxi owners from the Helwan neighborhood of Cairo whose microbuses had been confiscate by police for up to three days for use in arrest campaigns. Human Rights Watch interview with Gamal Eid, formerly director of the Information and Documentation Unit of the Center for Human Rights Legal Aid, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002.

[86] In June and July 2002 a Human Rights Watch researcher observed children being transported in the trucks at the al Azbekiya Juvenile Welfare facility and the Cairo Juvenile Court complex, and observed children detained in a similar transport truck at the Bulaq al Dakrur police station.

[87] Human Rights Watch interview with  Gamal Eid.

[88] Human Rights Watch interview with `Amr R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[89] Human Rights Watch interview with Anwar R.

[90] Human Rights Watch interview with Mona A., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[91] Human Rights Watch interview with Anwar R.

[92] Human Rights Watch interview with Seif S.

[93] General Mohammadayn said later in the interview that he would investigate an incident at the Bulaq al Dakrur police station where police detained children with adults in a Ministry of Interior Transport Administration vehicle for several hours on a hot summer day. Human Rights Watch interview with Gen. Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[94] Children of all ages typically reported being bound within police stations during questioning or when being moved from administrative rooms to the lockup. Human Rights Watch also observed police using handcuffs on children of all ages at the Cairo Juvenile Court, although police removed the handcuffs during hearings and interviews with social workers.

[95] Human Rights Watch interview with Warda N., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[96] Human Rights Watch interview with Widad T., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[97] The association's offices are located within a few blocks of the Cairo Juvenile Court, the Dur al Tarbi`a social welfare facility, the Bulaq al Dakrur police station, and the Cairo University metro station.

[98] Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[99] Human Rights Watch interview with police officer with rank of amin al shorta, Bulaq Dakrur Police Station, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002. Name not given.

[100] Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002. 

[101] Human Rights Watch interview with Samira Y., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[102] Egyptian security forces and the police routinely torture or ill-treat detainees. Torture and ill-treatment is particularly common during interrogation, but often is also used against relatives of suspects or as a favor to a third party in a personal dispute. For a more detailed discussion of the role of the Ministry of Interior in these abuses, see Chapter VII, below.

[103] Human Rights Watch interview with Seif S., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[104] Human Rights Watch interview with Tariq. A., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[105] Human Rights Watch interview with police officer with rank of amin al shorta, Bulaq Dakrur Police Station, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002. Name not given.

[106] Many Egyptians consider shoes to be unclean, and beating or threatening to beat someone with a shoe is serious insult to that person's dignity. The woman who gave this account was so embarrassed by the attack that she repeatedly asked that her name not be used when reporting on this incident. Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[107] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[108] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[109] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[110] Human Rights Watch interview with Marwan `I., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[111] Human Rights Watch interview with Yahiya `I., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[112] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abdullah A., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[113] Human Rights Watch interview with Mansur N., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[114] Human Rights Watch interview with Widad T., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[115] Human Rights Watch interview with Rabi` S., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[116] The term "sexual abuse" here refers to sexual harassment and forced sexual contact that does not include rape; the term "sexual violence" refers to rape. For a discussion of sexual abuse and violence in custodial settings in the United States, see Human Rights Watch, All Too Familiar: Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1996).

[117] Human Rights Watch interview with Nora N., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[118] Human Rights Watch interview with Samira Y.

[119] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[120] Human Rights Watch interview with Widad T.

[121] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi, director of Cairo Province Police Directorate's al Azbekiya Juvenile Welfare facility, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[122] The director explained the absence of female police by saying that the female officer on duty had left that morning to accompany a group of girls being transported to an institution. Ibid.

[123] The director of the facility asked the researcher to leave before she completed interviewing all the children.

[124] The assault in a police transport vehicle is described in the section on Conditions during Transport in Chapter IV.

[125] Human Rights Watch interview Warda N., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[126] Human Rights Watch interview with Hala S., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[127]The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires children deprived of their liberty to be separated from adults "unless it is in the child's best interest not to do so"; the ICCPR prohibition has no such exception. SeeConvention on the Rights of the Child, adopted November 20, 1989, G.A. Res. 44/25, U.N. Doc. A/RES/44/25 (entered into force September 2, 1990), article 37(c); and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force March 23, 1976), article 10(b).

[128] Only one boy reported being held with women detainees. Sixteen-year-old `Amr R. spent three days in a cell with women detainees at the Sayyida Zaynab police station near the end of March 2002. "I was in a room about this size (3.5 meters x 3.5 meters), with the women [detainees]. All the kids there were there with women, and I was the only one whose mother wasn't there. The police only bring food once in a while (biyigibu akl kul fain wa fain). There is someone who sells ful and tamiya [inexpensive foods made of fava beans] and I had LE 5 with me so I bought some." Human Rights Watch interview with `Amr R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[129] Children identified the police stations in Greater Cairo as Giza, Sayyida Zaynab, `Abdin, `Aguza, al Khalifa, Sahel, Rod al Farag, Qasr al Nil, Doqqi, the adult lockup and the juvenile lockup at al Azbekiya,Shobra al Khayma, and what appears to be a police substation in the Ahmad Helmi neighborhood. Two children also described being detained at the Muharram Bey juvenile police lockup in Alexandria.

[130] Human Rights Watch interview with Yasir I., Cairo, Egypt,  July 9, 2002.

[131] Human Rights Watch interview with Tariq A., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[132] Several children we interviewed described being taken to "the Ahmad Helmi police station." This appears to be a reference to a police substation near a busy bus station in the Ahmad Helmi neighborhood of Cairo. Human Rights Watch interview with Ilham N., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[133] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A.

[134] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, June 29, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[135] Human Rights Watch interview Samira Y.

[136] Human Rights Watch interview Yusif H., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[137] The survey asked children if they were detained with adults, and those who answered yes were then asked, "Did one of them try do something bad to you?" (had hawal ya`amal ma`k haja wahsha?), followed by additional questions to clarify the meaning of "something bad" (hajawahsha). Mohammad `Abd al `Athim, Under Detention: A Study of Detained Children, (Cairo: Association for Human Rights Legal Aid, 2002), pp. 94-96, 108-109 (in Arabic).

[138] Human Rights Watch interview with Badr A., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[139] Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[140] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y.

[141] Children told us that a much larger number of children had been at the facility the day before, but had been transferred out on the morning of Human Rights Watch's visit, an account that the director later confirmed.

[142] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[143] Ibid.

[144] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[145] Egypt has no punishment facilities for girls over age fifteen and only seven social welfare institutions that accept children "vulnerable to delinquency" or girls under fifteen who are convicted of crimes. Four of those facilities are in the greater Cairo area, two are in Alexandria governorate, and one is in Port Said governorate. Girls from governorates lacking facilities must be transferred to governorates that have them, and Cairo-based facilities are the closest for most cities. Human Rights Watch interview, Wafa' al Mistikawy, Director, Administration for Studies, Planning, and Follow-up, Social Protection Sector, Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs, July 18, 2002.

[146] Human Rights Watch interview `Abdallah A.

[147] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayman M., Cairo, Egypt, July 17, 2002.

[148] A 2001 study of street children in Cairo and Alexandria found evidence of high rates of anemia, respiratory problems due to glue sniffing and cigarette smoking, and skeletal problems due to violence. Children frequently complained of headaches, heart pain, chest pain, abdominal colic, renal colic, back pain, blood in the urine, shortness of breath when running, cough, wounds and bruises, diarrhea, dental problems, fever, and discharge from the ear. Nongovernmental organizations providing services to street children reported scabies, tinea, anemia, intestinal parasitic infections, skin abscesses and septic wounds, tonsillitis, otitis media, and hair lice as common problems. Abt Enterprises LLC, Rapid Situation Assessment of Street Children in Cairo and Alexandria: Final Report, March 29, 2001, Prepared for the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the World Food Program, and the U.N. International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), pp. 26-28.

[149] The School Health Insurance Program, established by Law 99 of 1992, provides preventive and curative health care services for school children until secondary school. Children pay a LE4 (U.S.$ 0.88) fee to register, and registration takes place through their schools. See A.K. Nandakumar et. al, "Health reform for children: the Egyptian experience with school health insurance," Health Policy, vol. 50, issue 3, January 2000, pp 155-170, and Hassan Abd El Fattah, MD, et. al, The Health Insurance Organization of Egypt: An Analytical Review and Strategy for Reform, Technical Report no. 43, (Bethesda, MD: Partnerships for Health Reform Project, Abt Associates Inc., August 1997).

[150] Human Rights Watch interview with `Azza S., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[151] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 11 and 14, 2002. Names withheld by request.

[152] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A.

[153] Human Rights Watch interview with Ziyad N., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[154] Human Rights Watch interview with Samira Y.

[155] Human Rights Watch interview with Nawal A., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[156] Human Rights Watch interview with Tariq A.

[157] Human Rights Watch interview with Widad T.

[158] Human Rights Watch interview with Mansur N.

[159] Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[160] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[161] Most children we interviewed reported being held in adult police lockups for three days or less, but one child reporting being held a week, and another child reported being held approximately two weeks.

[162] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A.

[163] Human Rights Watch interview with Marwan `I.

[164] See sections on Police Extortion and Detention with Adult Criminal Detainees, above.

[165] Human Rights Watch interview with Nagla' R., Cairo, Egypt, July 14, 2002.

[166] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhsin M., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[167] Human Rights Watch interview with Mansur N.

[168] Human Rights Watch interview with Reem G., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[169] Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[170] "Nesto" is a term used in Egypt to refer to any of several brands of processed cheese food that come packaged as individually-wrapped triangles in a round box. A single triangle of one such brand, Laughing Cow, weighs about 18 grams. Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[171] Ibid.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[174] Human Rights Watch interview with Yusif H.

[175] Human Rights Watch interview with `Azza S.

[176] Human Rights Watch interview with Amal A.

[177] Ministry of Interior arrest figures for the Cairo Governorate's Juvenile Welfare Administration alone list 3,360 children arrested for being "vulnerable to delinquency," 1,568 children arrested for misdemeanors, and 269 children arrested for felonies in 2001. In comparison, the governorate with the second highest number of children arrested for being "vulnerable to delinquency," Alexandria, reported 1,891 cases in 2001. Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi. Ministry of Interior, Social Protection Sector, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001 (Cairo: Ministry of Interior, 2002) (in Arabic), p. 105, 108.

[178] Abu Shahdi's estimate appears high, given that the Ministry of Interior lists 42,505 as the total number of arrests of children in Egypt in 2001, but may reflect inaccuracies in the Ministry's statistics or be a result of counting each time a child passes through al Azbekiya separately, even when they occur during the same arrest. Our estimate of crowding is based on Abu Shahdi's lower figure of 5,000 children per month, spread among thirty days, with no child staying more than one day, and children spread among four cells with an average size of sixteen square meters per cell. However, according to Abu Shahdi, only three cells are in regular use and the policy of separating girls from boys necessarily prevents an even distribution of children among all three cells. Ministry of Interior, Social Protection Sector, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, pp. 95-97.

[179] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[180] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhsin M.

[181] Human Rights Watch interview with Hala S.

[182] Human Rights Watch interview with Wafa' R., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[183] Human Rights Watch Interview with Widad T.

[184] Human Rights Watch interview with Nagla' R.

[185] Human Rights Watch interview with Ayman M.

[186] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y.

[187] The director later confirmed that a large number of children had been transferred out of the facility earlier in the day. Human Rights Watch interview with `Abdallah A.

[188] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[189] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abdullah A.

[190] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhsin M.

[191] Human Rights Watch interview with Reem G.

[192] See Sexual Abuse and Violence against Girls, above.

[193] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhsin M.

[194] Human Rights Watch interview with Reem G.

[195] Human Rights Watch interview with Samira Y.

[196] Human Rights Watch interview with Ilham N.

[197] Human Rights Watch interview with Anwar R., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[198] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[199] Human Rights Watch interview with Marwan `I.

[200] Human Rights Watch interview with Wafa' R., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[201] Human Rights Watch interview with Nagla' R.

[202] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[203] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abdallah A.

[204] Of the 42,505 children arrested in 2001, 10,958 children were charged with being "vulnerable to delinquency." Ministry of Interior, Social Protection Sector, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001 (Cairo: Ministry of Interior, 2002) (in Arabic), pp. 95-97; and Ministry of Interior, Social Protection Sector, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2000 (Cairo: Ministry of Interior, 2001) (in Arabic), p. 43.

[205]Government of Egypt, Second Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, November 11, 1999, CRC/C/65/Add.9, para. 192.

[206] In cases where the child violates the terms of the probation, the court may order other measures specified in article 101 of the Child Law. Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 13 [adjunct], March 28, 1996 (in Arabic), articles 106-107.

[207] In comparison, 921 children were charged with felonies and 30,626 were charged with misdemeanors in 2001. The 10,958 children arrested for being "vulnerable to delinquency," included 4,914 charged with mixing with other children "vulnerable to delinquency" or suspects, 3,662 charged with begging, 1,450 charged with sleeping in the streets, and 757 children charged with habitual truancy. General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, pp. 95-97; and General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2000, p. 43.

[208] Ministry of Interior statistics list 185 "cases," of arrests for being "vulnerable to danger" in 2001 and no cases in 2000. General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, p. 91.

[209] The 2000 figure appears to significantly under report arrests in all three Greater Cairo governorates and may be a reflection of the arbitrary manner in which the Ministry of Interior categorizes children as "vulnerable to delinquency." It appears in a chart labeled "Distribution of Cases of Vulnerable to Delinquency by the Governorates of the Republic for Year 2000" that lists eight categories of conduct considered "vulnerable to delinquency," but lists underneath each category the term "misdemeanor," although these categories are not misdemeanors and are not included in a separate chart of cases of misdemeanors. General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, p. 97; and General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2000, p. 43.

[210] Ministerial Decree 15511 of 2000 restructured the Ministry of Interior's existing Administration for Juvenile Police, making it a General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigations headed by an assistant minister with the rank of general. Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002; and Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi, director, Cairo Province Police Directorate's al Azbekiya Juvenile Welfare facility, July 27, 2002.

[211] Child Law 31 of 1974, Official Gazette no. 20, May 16, 1974, (in Arabic), articles 2-4. For a critique of Child Law 31 of 1974 and discussion of its similarities with Child Law 12 of 1996, see Dr. Adel Azer and Imam Bibars, Protecting Vulnerable Children: the Case of Juvenile Delinquents, Draft, (Cairo: UNICEF Egypt Country Office, 1998), pp. 4-11.

[212] Government of Egypt, Second Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (New York: United Nations, September 18, 1998), CR/C/65/Add.9, paras. 187-207.

[213] See, for example, the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), G.A. Res. 45/112, annex, 45 U.N.GAOR Supp. (no. 49A), U.N. Doc A/45/49/ (1990), para. 56; Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child:  Chile, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.173 (2002), para. 53; and Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child:  Nigeria, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.61 (1996), para. 21.

[214] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article. 18(2).

[215] Ibid., articles 9, 20(1).

[216] According to the law's chief architect, the provision on children "vulnerable to danger" was added when visiting juvenile justice experts pointed out that the Child Law lacked provisions for children at risk and treated all children as juvenile offenders. Human Rights Watch interview with Judge Mohammad al Gindi, member of the Technical Committee of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Heliopolis, Egypt, July 28, 2002.

[217] Article 94 of the Child Law sets the age of criminal responsibility at seven years. See Appendix A for the full definition of categories of children considered "vulnerable to delinquency." Child Law, articles 94, 96, 97, 99.

[218] The exceptions are provisions stating that no action should be taken against an incorrigible child without parental permission and setting standards for determinations of mental defect or illness. Child Law, articles 96(7) and 99.

[219] Of 10,958 arrests of children for being "vulnerable to delinquency," 4,914 were for "mixing with suspect persons," 3,662 were for "begging," 1,450 were for "sleeping in the streets," and 757 were for "habitual truancy." Ninety-seven percent of the 3,360 arrests of children in 2001 by the Cairo Police Directorate for being "vulnerable to delinquency" were for four categories: "begging" (1727), "mixing with suspects" (775), "sleeping in the streets" (715), and "habitual truancy" (32).  General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, pp. 97, 105.

[220] Law 49 of 1933 on Begging, article 1.

[221] The law excludes skilled persons or crafts persons who cannot find work and specifies that gambling, deviance, fortune telling, and similar activities are not considered legal livelihoods. Law 98 of 1945 on Vagrants and Suspect Persons (amended), articles 1, 4.

[222] Law 98 of 1945 on Vagrants and Suspect Persons (amended), article 5.

[223] See Appendix A for the full definition of "vulnerable to danger." Prime Ministerial Decree 3452 of 1997 enacting the Executive Statute of Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 48 [adjunct], November 27, 1997, article 203.

[224] Ministry of Interior statistics list 185 cases of arrests for being "vulnerable to danger" in 2001 and no cases in 2000. General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, The Administration's Efforts Year 2001, p. 91.

[225] Egyptian Constitution, article 41; Code of Criminal Procedures (Law 150 of 1950) [amended] (in Arabic), article 34.

[226] According to the nongovernmental Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, 2001 witnessed a marked increase in arrest campaigns against citizens who did not belong to any political trend in order "to force the citizen to confess to a crime or as a favor to a third party." EOHR, "The Right to Freedom and Personal Integrity," in EOHR, Annual Report 2001, (Cairo: Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, 2002), Part II Chapter 2, (retrieved November 15, 2002 http://www.eohr.org/ar/annual/2002/p2-2.htm).

[227] The Child Law does not specify arrest procedures for children "vulnerable to danger" but Egyptian authorities appear to extend the apply the same arrest provisions to them as to children "vulnerable to delinquency." Child Law, article 117.

[228] Despite Abu Shahdi's assertion that police only arrest some of the children they "gathered" in this manner, all children subjected to this process are detained for at least a day and sometimes several days while police check for outstanding warrants against them. Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi

[229] According to the director of the Ministry of Interior's General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, police typically arrest "twenty to thirty children" during a campaign. Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[230] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi.

[231] Human Rights Watch interview with police officer with rank of amin al shorta, Bulaq al Dakrur Police Station, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002. Name not given.

[232] Transcript of Remarks, Association for Human Rights Legal Aid Conference on Children in Detention, Cairo, Egypt, May 30, 2002.

[233] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[234] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[235] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[236] Human Rights Watch interview with Khaled M., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[237] Human Rights Watch interview with Marwan `I., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[238] Human Rights Watch interview with `Abdullah A., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[239] Human Rights Watch interview with Mansur N., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[240] Human Rights Watch interview with Muhsin M., Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[241] See chapters IV and V.

[242] Human Rights Watch interview with General Mohammadayn.

[243] Code of Criminal Procedures, article 36.

[244] Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[245] Human Rights Watch interview with Nasir Y.

[246] Human Rights Watch interview with Yasir I., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[247] Human Rights Watch interview with Reem G., Cairo, Egypt, July 15, 2002.

[248] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 23, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[249] See Prisons Law 396 of 1956, articles 85-86; Attorney General Circular 11 of 1999 regarding periodic unannounced inspection of places of detention, October 25, 1999; and Attorney General Decree 837 of 1999 amending some provisions regarding criminal matters of the judicial directives to public prosecution offices (article 1749).

[250] Al Gindi also serves on the Technical Committee of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and directs the al Horriya Center in Alexandria, a facility that provides residential care for street children and juvenile offenders. Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad al Gindi.

[251] Human Rights Watch interview with members of the Cairo Public Prosecution Office for Juveniles, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2002. Name not given.

[252] These measures include placement in the custody of a qualified parent or guardian, or placement in a vocational training center, a specialized hospital, or a social welfare institution. Child Law, articles 98, 101-108; Prime Ministerial Decree 3452 of 1997, articles 204- 205.

[253] See for example the Center for Human Rights Legal Aid's report on children in conflict with the law, which draws on the cases of 561 children investigated by the center between 1994 and 1996. Center for Human Rights Legal Aid, Treatment of Juveniles in Egypt: Protection or Incubation of Criminals? (Cairo: Center for Human Rights Legal Aid, March 2001, in Arabic).

[254] Human Rights Watch was denied access to Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs social welfare institutions and observation houses where children accused or convicted of crimes or considered "vulnerable to delinquency" or "vulnerable to danger" may be held and only a handful of the children we spoke with had ever been ordered placed in these institutions.  While these institutions are reputed to be significantly better than Ministry of Interior lockups and punishment facilities, based on our interviews with Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs social welfare experts and representatives of nongovernmental organizations we believe that serious concerns about the treatment of children in these institutions warrant further investigation.

[255] In addition to those government bodies already mentioned, this would include at a minimum the Ministries of Health and Education,  the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, the National Center for Social and Criminal Research; regional bodies working on children's issues such as the Arab Council for Childhood and Development; international intergovernmental organizations working on children's issues such as UNICEF, the International Labor Organization's International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor,  and the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention; and local and international nongovernmental organizations promoting children's rights in Egypt.

[256] Torture and ill-treatment by both State Security Investigation and regular police is particularly common during interrogation, but often is also used against persons who happen to be in police stations for reasons unrelated to any criminal suspicion, such as relatives of suspects, witnesses to police torture,  or individuals involved in personal disputes with third parties known to police. For further information on torture and ill-treatment in police custody, see Human Rights Watch, "Egypt: Human Rights Background," A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder, October 2001, Human Rights Watch Letter to Prosecutor General Maher `Abd al Wahid, November 19, 2001, Human Rights Watch Letter to President Husni Mubarak, November 13, 1998; Middle East Watch, "Egypt: Hostage-taking and Intimidation by Security Forces," A Middle East Watch Report, January 1995; Middle East Watch, "Behind Closed Doors: Torture and Detention in Egypt," A Middle East Watch Report, May 1992; U.N. Committee against Torture, Conclusions and Recommendations: Egypt, November 20, 2002, CAT/C/XXIX/Misc.4; World Organization against Torture and Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, "Comments on the Report of the State of Egypt Concerning the Implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," November 2002 [online], http://www.eohr.org/report/2002/omtc1.htm (retrieved December 4, 2002) The Nadim Center for the Treatment and Psychological Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, "Torture in Egypt: Facts and Testimony," (Cairo: Nadim Center, February 2002, in Arabic).

[257] U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture, Report to the Commission on Human Rights, 57th Sess., January 25, 2001, E/CN.4/2001/66, paras. 415-476; and Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Annual Report 2001 [online] http://www.eohr.org/ar/annual/2002/p2-1.htm (retrieved December 18, 2002).

[258] The lack of detailed, publicly accessible data on complaints and resolutions make it difficult to assess fully the degree of impunity enjoyed by members of the police.  In its state party report to the U.N. Committee Against Torture submitted in 1999, the government admitted to having received sixty-three complaints of torture committed by officials in 1993, seventy-one in 1994, and fifty-one in 1995. In all years, only about 10 to 15 percent of complaints resulted in the institution of criminal or administrative proceedings; the rest were put on file or closed for "lack of evidence." The government's 2001 report to the Committee against Torture does not include the total number of complaints, but does report the number of cases of torture, cruelty, ill-treatment, and unlawful detention by police that the Public Prosecution Office referred for "administrative sanction," "disciplinary trial," or "criminal trial": 49 in 1998, 52 in 1999, and 40 between January 1 and October 1, 2000.  Government of Egypt, Third Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the United Nations Committee against Torture (New York: United Nations, January 28, 1999), U.N. doc CAT/C/34/Add.11 paras. 152-154; and Government of Egypt, Fourth Periodic Report of the Government of Egypt to the United Nations Committee against Torture (New York: United Nations, October 18, 2001), U.N. doc CAT/C/55/Add.6 paras. 124-128.

[259] Police Law 109 of 1971, article 57.

[260] Muhammad Ghanam, "The Golden Age of Torture," al Sha`b (Cairo, in Arabic), February 8, 2000.

[261] Human Rights Watch interview with General Sayyed Mohammadayn, director, General Administration for Juvenile Welfare Investigation, Ministry of Interior, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[262] Egypt has yet to modify its domestic legislation to fully implement the Convention against Torture. Of particular concern are provisions in the Penal Code that punish torture only when it is committed or ordered by a public servant against a criminal suspect or when it consists of physical torture or death threats against a person illegally detained, and do not otherwise include acts that cause mental suffering, and provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedures that prevent private individuals from bringing criminal cases against public officials for abuses they commit during the course of their duties. Penal Code  (Law 58 of 1937) [amended] (in Arabic), articles 126, 129, 282; and Code of Criminal Procedures, article 63.  See Convention against Torture, article 1 for that treaty's definition of torture, which includes acts resulting in severe mental suffering, regardless of whether the victim is a criminal suspect.

[263] See Regulation Organizing the Forensic Medical Administration, November 1928 (amended), Part 3, articles 85-89.

[264] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[265] See for example, U.N. Committee against Torture, Conclusions and Recommendations: Egypt, November 20, 2002, CAT/C/XXIX/Misc.4; U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture, Report to the Commission on Human Rights, 57th Sess., January 25, 2001, E/CN.4/2001/66, paras. 415-476; World Organization against Torture and Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, "Comments on the Report of the State of Egypt Concerning the Implementation of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," November 2002 [online], http://www.eohr.org/report/2002/omtc1.htm (retrieved December 4, 2002); The Nadim Center for the Treatment and Psychological Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, Torture in Egypt: Facts and Testimony, (Cairo: Nadim Center, February 2002, in Arabic); and The Human Rights Center for the Assistance of Prisoners, "The Citizen is Egyptian: Torture in Police Stations," June 6, 2002 [online] http://www.hrcap.org/Reports2/THEcitizenisEgyptian/thecitizenis_egyptian.htm (retrieved December 4, 2002).

[266] Human Rights Watch interview with Ziyad N., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[267] Human Rights Watch interview with Khaled M., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[268] Human Rights Watch interview with Wafa' R., Cairo, Egypt, July 16, 2002.

[269] Human Rights Watch interview with Hani B., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[270] One experienced social worker in the Cairo Juvenile Court told Human Rights Watch that he believed that the Ministry of Interior kept moving prosecutors and judges to keep them from developing relationships that might lead to corruption. Human Rights Watch interview with Khaled Mohammad Khass,  Chief of the Cairo Public Prosecution Office for Juveniles, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2002; and Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs social welfare expert attached to the Cairo Juvenile Court, June 26, 2002.

[271] Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, June 26, 2002.

[272] Human Rights Watch interview with Seif S., Cairo, Egypt, July 10, 2002.

[273] Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs social welfare expert attached to the Cairo Juvenile Court, July 24, 2002.

[274] Human Rights Watch interview with Brigadier Yasir Abu Shahdi, the director of Cairo Province Police Directorate's al Azbekiya Juvenile Welfare facility, Cairo, Egypt, July 27, 2002.

[275] These findings are generally consistent with UNICEF's analysis of 8,043 cases of children brought before the Cairo Public Prosecution Office for Juveniles on misdemeanor charges in 1992, including 4,365 children who met the 1996 Child Law's definition of children "vulnerable to delinquency." Of this latter group, the prosecution office's only action was to issue a warning to the parent or guardian in 76.1 percent of cases of begging; 84.9 percent of cases of sleeping on the street; 87.1 percent of cases of associating with vagrants; 89.7 percent of cases of selling trivial items; and 91.9 percent of cases of collecting rubbish. Dr. Adel Azer and Imam Bibars, Protecting Vulnerable Children: the Case of Juvenile Delinquents, Draft, (Cairo: UNICEF Egypt Country Office, 1998), pp. 18-25.

[276] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, June 29, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[277] Felonies committed by children are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, and misdemeanors by up to five years imprisonment. Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 13 [adjunct], March 28, 1996 (in Arabic), article 106, 107; Prime Ministerial Decree 3452 of 1997 enacting the Executive Statute of Child Law 12 of 1996, Official Gazette no. 48 [adjunct], November 27, 1997 (in Arabic), article 204.

[278] The Child Law requires the head of the juvenile court or his delegate to visit observation homes, vocational training centers, social welfare institutions, vocational rehabilitation institutes, specialized hospitals and other agencies that cooperate with the court every three months. Child Law, article 134.

[279] The Dur al Tarbi`a facility is located in the same complex, and an observation house (dar mulahitha) is located in the same building as the Juvenile Court.

[280] Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, July 24, 2002.

[281] Ibid.

[282] Human Rights Watch interview with Chief Justice Ahmed Hussayn Mohammad Mi`ad, Cairo Juvenile Court, July 3, 2002.

[283] Human Rights Watch interview, Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[284] Human Rights Watch interview with Hani B.

[285] Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. `Azza Kuraym, juvenile justice expert, the National Center for Criminal and Social Studies, Cairo, Egypt, July 18, 2002.

[286] Although Suliman believed he had seen only the public prosecutor, his description of his second meeting with an official is consistent with the trials before the Cairo Juvenile Court we witnessed.

[287] Human Rights Watch interview with Suliman M., Cairo, Egypt, July 9, 2002.

[288] Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs social welfare expert attached to the Cairo Juvenile Court, July 3, 2002.

[289] Ibid. Their access to places of detention does not include penal facilities.

[290] See Appendix B.

[291] Human Rights Watch interview, social welfare expert attached to the Cairo Juvenile Court, Cairo, Egypt, July 24, 2002. Name withheld by request.

[292] See Appendix C.

[293] Transcript of Remarks, Association for Human Rights Legal Aid Conference on Children in Detention, Cairo, Egypt, May 30, 2002.

[294] According to the social welfare expert, the probation cases ranged from five to forty per month, and required weekly visits to the child's home. Human Rights Watch interview with Mohammad `Abd al Radi Shehata, July 24, 2002.

[295] The court may at its discretion provide a lawyer to children over fifteen charged with misdemeanors. Child Law, article 125.

[296] The Hisham Mubarak Center for Legal Aid stopped providing legal aid to children at the juvenile courts because "we found that legal aid in itself was not sufficient because the children just ended up back on the street." Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Seif, director, Hisham Mubarak Center for Legal Aid, Cairo, Egypt, July 1, 2002.

[297] Human Rights Watch interview withYasir Hassan Suliman, lawyer, Association for Human Rights Legal Aid, Cairo, Egypt, July 8, 2002.

[298] Ibid.     

[299] Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted November 20, 1989, G.A. Res. 44/25, U.N. Doc. A/RES/44/25 (entered into force September 2, 1990); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 999 U.N.T.S. 171 (entered into force March 23, 1976), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted December 10, 1984, G.A. Res. 39/46, U.N. Doc. A/RES/39/46, 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force June 26, 1987).

[300] See the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules), G.A. Res. 40/33, annex, 40 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 53), U.N. Doc A/40/53 (1985); the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines), G.A. Res. 45/112, annex, 45 U.N.GAOR Supp. (no. 49A), U.N. Doc A/45/49/ (1990); the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty (The U.N. Rules), G.A. Res. 45/113, annex, 45 U.N. GAOR Supp. (no. 49A), U.N. Doc. A/45/49 (1990); the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolution 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of May 13, 1977; the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, G.A. Res. 45/111, December 14, 1990; and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, G.A. Res. 43/173, December 9, 1988.

[301] Convention against Torture, article 1.

[302] The Convention against Torture article 16. Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 7 of the ICCPR also prohibit torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. U.N. Human Rights Committee General Comment 20 concerning torture or cruel treatment or punishment (Forty-fourth session, 1992) provides authoritative guidance on the implementation of ICCPR article 7.

[303] ICCPR General Comment 20 concerning prohibition of torture and cruel treatment or punishment, para. 5.

[304] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 2(1) and ICCPR article 2(1).

[305] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 19.

[306] Article 20(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states, "A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State."

[307] ICCPR, articles 9(1) and 9(3); and Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 37(b). The U.N. Human Rights Committee, in its authoritative interpretation of the article 9 right to liberty and security, states that article 9(1) is "applicable to all deprivations of liberty, whether in criminal cases or in other cases such as, for example, mental illness, vagrancy, drug addiction, educational purposes, immigration control, etc." U.N. Human Rights Committee, General Comment 8: Right to liberty and security of persons (Art. 9), Sixteenth session, 30/06/82.

[308] ICCPR article 9(5).

[309] Convention on the Rights of the Child, articles 37(b) and 37(d).

[310] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 3(1).

[311] The Convention on the Rights of the Child allows for this right to be exercised "either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law." Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 12.

[312] The Riyadh Guidelines, para. 56. See also Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child:  Chile, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.173 (2002), para. 53; and Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child:  Nigeria, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.61 (1996), para. 21.

[313] Article 10(1) of the ICCPR states: "All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person." Article 10(2)(a) states: "Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons."

[314] Convention on the Rights of the Child article 37(c) states: "Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances." ICCPR article 10(2)(b) states: "Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from adults and brought as speedily as possible for adjudication," while article 10(3) requires that "[j]uvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status." 

[315] The U.N. Rules, article 28.

[316] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 19.

[317] "A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State." Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 20(1).

[318] Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, following closely the language of article 17 of the ICCPR, states "(1) No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. (2) The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."        

[319] The Beijing Rules state, "The juvenile's right to privacy shall be respected at all stages in order to avoid harm being caused to her or him by undue publicity or by the process of labelling." The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners state, "When the prisoners are being removed to or from an institution, they shall be exposed to public view as little as possible, and proper safeguards shall be adopted to protect them from insult, curiosity and publicity in any form." The Beijing Rules, para. 8.1; and The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, article 45(1).

[320] Similarly, the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners state, "The transport of prisoners in conveyances with inadequate ventilation or light, or in any way which would subject them to unnecessary physical hardship, shall be prohibited." U.N. Rules, para. 26; and U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, article 45(2).

[321] The U.N. Rules, para. 64.

[322] Ibid., paras. 49-55.

[323] Ibid., para. 49.

[324] Ibid., para. 50.

[325] Ibid., para. 51.

[326] "Juvenile detention facilities should adopt specialized drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation programmes administered by qualified personnel. These programmes should be adapted to the age, sex and other requirements of the juveniles concerned, and detoxification facilities and services staffed by trained personnel should be available to drug- or alcohol-dependent juveniles." U.N. Rules, para. 54.

[327] Ibid., para. 51.

[328] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 37(c).

[329] The U.N. Rules, paras. 30 and 33.

[330] The Standard Minimum Rules, article 13.

[331] The U.N. Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty requires that clean drinking water "be available to every juvenile at any time," and that sanitary installations "be so located and of a sufficient standard to enable every juvenile to comply, as required, with their physical needs in privacy and in a clean and decent manner." The U.N. Rules, paras. 34, 37.

[332] The United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, the authoritative statement of minimum standards for the treatment of children in detention, states, "Every detention facility shall ensure that every juvenile receives food that is suitably prepared and presented at normal meal times and of a quality and quantity to satisfy the standards of dietetics, hygiene and health and, as far as possible, religious and cultural requirements. Clean drinking water should be available to every juvenile at any time." The U.N. Rules, para. 37.

[333] Assuming that the loaves of bread given to the children are about 130 grams in weight (a standard used in food subsidy programs in Egypt) and that they are made with whole wheat flour, this diet offers about 2020 calories, about 75 grams of protein, and about 17 milligrams of iron per day. Standards for nutrient requirements of adolescents vary from source to source, but these totals would meet the daily requirement for protein and iron set by most experts but would fall short of the recommended calorie intake, which for boys age fifteen to eighteen years, for example, would be about 3000 calories, according to some sources. For girls aged eleven to eighteen, the recommended intake is about 2200 calories per day. If the bread loaves received by the children were smaller or made with refined white flour, this diet would likely be deficient in both calories and iron. See United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, [online] http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl, (retrieved October 9, 2002); and United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization, Handbook on Human Nutrient Requirements (Rome: United Nations, 2001).

[334] The U.N. Rules, paras. 15, 38-47.

[335] Ibid., paras. 45, 67.

[336] Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 2(1) and ICCPR article 2(1).