Speech of Ambassador Naela Gabr
Head of the National Coordinating Committee to Combat &
Prevent Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons
( Preventing & Responding to Illegal Migration in Egypt)
Egypt has always been keen on facing the dangers and the aftermaths of illegal migration through a comprehensive approach, legal foundation and implementable program.
A national committee in charge of developingstrategies, studies, plans and laws to combat and prevent illegal migration was established in March 2014. The aforementioned committee is affiliated with the cabinet and comprises in its membership different ministries and bodiesresponsible foranalyzing data and raising awareness about illegal migration.
Over the past two years the committee assumed its responsibilities to combat and prevent illegal migration in an institutional unbureaucratic manner; it focused on promptly implementing its goals without overburdening the government funding. The committee can be presented as a successful model in combating illegal migration to other developing countries facing the same problem particularly African countries.
Law 82/2016 anti- illegal migration and anti -smuggling law is considered a breakthrough in combating and preventing illegal migration , for the very first time we have a clear definition forthe crime of smuggling people . The lawcriminalizessmugglers, imposes prison sentences and hefty fines on them. It also acknowledges human rights principles andstipulates protectiveprovisions for victims and witnesses, without discriminating between Egyptians and foreigners.
The national strategy to combat and prevent illegal migration 2016-2026 (developed by NCCPIM & launched in 2016) puts a comprehensive conceptualization for the activities and programs to be carried out in consonance with the national visions and priorities; the national strategy is built upon 8 main pillars
§ Raise public awareness on illegal migration
§ Mobilize resources needed for combating illegal migration
§ Enhance development as a basis for combating illegal migration and facilitate provision of employment and supporting legal migration alternatives
§ Protect the most vulnerable groups from illegal migration
§ Capitalize international cooperation trends in combatting illegal migration
§ Improve information technology relevant to illegal migration.
§ Develop and facilitate the legislative framework supporting the combatting of illegal migration activities.
§ Strengthen Regional Cooperation relevant to combatting illegal migration
The first action plan ofthe national strategy targets thegovernorates and villages with highest rates of illegal migration( 11 exporting governorates +3 transit ).
Iam honored to announce the launching of PRIME Project ( Preventing &Responding to Illegal Migration in Egypt) , which is funded by the government of the United kingdom with the amount of 2 million sterling pounds and is to be implemented by theInternational Organization for Migration ( IOM)
This program responds and reflects national priorities where Law enforcement agencies (officers, prosecutors, judges) are considered the society's bulwark against the crime of smuggling people. The program provides technical trainings and capacity building forLaw enforcement officers to achieve a skill level compatible with international standards.
Capacities of national agencies working in collection and analysis of data will be enhanced, qualified to work according to a modern scientific approach. They will be able to provide valid assessment for the problem,the consequent efforts and results,which will helpin setting future plans.
In addition to that Capacity building for young cadres working in that field, especially NCCPIMsecretariat will achieve a qualitative breakthrough in the efforts of preventing and combating illegal migration
Ladies and gentlemen
Egypt has always asserted that development is a an essential prerequisite in fighting and preventing illegal migration . Awareness raising efforts without tangible alternatives for the people is neither valid nor credible. Families and youth are already fully aware of the dangers of the illegal migration process.The focus must be on available and possible alternatives which are inherently dependent on the development.The most prominent attribute of the Egyptian-British cooperation program (PRIME) is that it pays special attention the development component.
In this context, PRIME seeks to launch three small projects for vulnerable groups in governorates with large scale of illegal migration and provide all needs that will guarantee success and creation of employment opportunities. It also aims at encouraging the community to expand the small businesses and present them as a role model.
I extend my sincere thanks to the United Kingdom for its initiative and keenness to cooperate with Egypt to fight & prevent illegal migration, which has become an imminent threat to the security of the individual and society in today's world.
This initiative reflects vision andzeal tofind theoptimum way to approach the problem, as it is already been proven that Security measures alone will not be effective , they involve lot of loopholes that can be exploited by smugglers &organized crime groups. On the other hand Building human capacity cannot go wrong; this is the main purpose of the program which we intend toachievethroughthe trilateralcooperation betweenthenational committee, the United kingdom and relevant national authorities.
At this pointIwould like to acknowledge the constructive cooperation between the national committee and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) over the past two years and pay tribute to the mutual trust and understanding that has marked this cooperation. Our mutual cooperation and coordination will continue to rapidly and effectively achieve progress in fighting the crime of smuggling of migrants through prevention, protection, criminal prosecution and awareness raising. I am confident that this cooperation will be a model for many developing countries.
International cooperation with Egypt to fight illegal migration must not bebasedon the number of migrants who crossthe borderstowards Europe (Egyptian or non-Egyptian) but thiscooperation whether it is bilateral or international is founded on the importance andstatus of Egypt in Africa and the Middle East and its serious approach in handling the illegal migration issue.
Egypt has established theinstitutional framework for coordinating theactivities of prevention, awareness and development between relevantnational authorities in the field of illegal migration. This framework has been recently crowned by the merger between anti-immigration and human - trafficking mechanisms creating a single national entity tackling those two interconnected crimes.(Prime minister's decree No. 192/2017). Egypt has alsopresented a successful model by passing law No.64/2010 on combating trafficking in persons and No. 82 /2016 on combating illegal immigration, in accordance with Palermo protocols and relevant human rights conventions. In addition to that Egypt has developed two national strategies to combat illegal migration and trafficking in personscomprising national efforts, regional and international cooperation.
All of the above qualifies Egypt to be a center for international cooperation and a model for the success of the developmental approach to fight and prevent illegal migration.
Ladies and Gentlemen...
Once again I extend my thanks to the British government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and I am confident that all the relevant national authorities will make the most of this program to achieve a better tomorrow of the Egyptian society and a promising future for the youth.