Law Combating Trafficking in Persons: A Welcome Step that Requires Careful Implementation
In May 2010, Egypt enacted Law 64 of year 2010 on Combating Trafficking in Persons. This law provides a definition of “crimes of trafficking in persons” and stipulates the penalties applicable. It also guarantees certain rights to victims of trafficking and imposes a duty of the state to ensure their full protection. At the time of writing (October 2010), the Implementing Statute of the law has not been issued.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights welcomes the adoption of the law as an important step towards combating trafficking in persons. This commentary is intended to provide the state and interested stakeholders with a human rights reading to the law. The commentary includes recommendations to the government that will help ensure that the implementation of the law complies with Egypt's international obligations and fully respects human rights. To this end, this commentary recommends that the elements of the crime of trafficking be defined in accordance with internationally agreed definitions, taking into account existing Egyptian laws criminalizing acts that are related to trafficking. The commentary also points to the problems that can result from victims' identification procedures and urges the government to take measures to ensure all victims of trafficking are identified and allowed to benefit from the law's protection. Further, the commentary warns against the collateral damage that can result from measures intended to protect victims and recommends that the government guarantees the victim's rights to freedom of movement and the right to seek asylum at all times. Finally, the commentary recommends that th government considers other state's experiences and best practices in anti-trafficking measures when issuing and implementing a national plan of action.