Violence against Children in Egypt
Quantitative Survey and Qualitative Study in Cairo, Alexandria and Assuit.
This study provides evidence on the magnitude and pattern of physical, emotional and gender based violence affecting Egyptian children in Cairo, Alexandria and Assiut. It also provides useful inputs on the perceptions of children and adults on this issue.
In the year preceding the study around two thirds of the children in the areas covered in the study were victims of physical violence, and 78% were victims of emotional violence. The study also highlights the very high number of victims of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (65% in Cairo, 39% in Alexandria, and 94% in Assiut), as well as the fact that children and adults largely consider violence against children as an acceptable means of discipline.
This situation is not unique to Egypt. Indeed Violence against Children is happening in every country, every community, and every day. The 2014 UNICEF statistical analysis of violence against children revealed that almost one billion children in the world, between the ages of 2 and 14, suffer regular physical punishment, and almost 1 in 4 girls between the age of 15 and 19 experience physical violence. The repercussions of violence are many, and maybe difficult to reverse, detrimentally affecting the growth of children in all aspects; physically, psychologically and socially.
However violence against children is preventable. Experience from many countries in the world have proven that good policies and systematic approaches, mainstreamed in all related government agencies with the help of civil society, can make a difference. In this respect the study calls for Egypt to uphold a zero tolerance policy on violence against children, and provide the means and tools to help parents, care givers and schools’ staff to use positive discipline methods with children.
The Egyptian Constitution of 2014, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Egyptian Child Law urge for children to live free from violence at home, at school and among their peers. By documenting the nature and extend of the problem, this study is an important step forward to address the challenge of violence against children in Egypt.