Previous PageTable Of Contents


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

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.

We stand with victims and activists to bring offenders to justice, to prevent discrimination, to uphold
political freedom and to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime.

We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.

We challenge governments and those holding power to end abusive practices and respect international
human rights law.

We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

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.

Web Site Address:
Listserv address: To receive Human Rights Watch news releases by email, subscribe to the HRW news listserv by sending a blank e-mail message to

Previous PageTable Of Contents