GENEVA, Switzerland, November 27, 2015
The Egyptian Cabinet has approved a new anti-human smuggling law that is in line with international standards, safeguarding the rights and addressing the needs of smuggled migrants.
The law stipulates imprisonment and substantial fines for smugglers and accomplices. Punishment amounts to life imprisonment and fines above USD 25,000 when smuggling results in the death or disability of migrant women or children, or when links to organized crime and terrorism are substantiated.
Importantly, the law does not criminalize irregular migrants, but obliges the State to provide protection in line with Egypt’s international obligations.
Under the new law, the Government will merge the National Coordinating Committees to Combat and Prevent Illegal Migration (NCCPIM), and Trafficking in Persons (NCCTIP).
The new Committee will be tasked to address irregular migration and trafficking in persons under a unified mandate, using a comprehensive approach.
In addition, the law envisages the establishment of a Direct Assistance Fund for smuggled migrants which will be subsidized by selling assets seized from smuggling organizations.
“IOM congratulates the Egyptian Government on this important milestone, which complements Egypt’s existing anti-trafficking Law 64/2010,” said Amr Taha, IOM Egypt Head of Office.
“Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to issue an anti-smuggling law complying with the ‘Smuggling Protocol’ of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as its commitments under the Action Plan of the Valletta Summit on Migration.”
“IOM remains committed to continue providing all the necessary support to the Government and all relevant stakeholders in ensuring that smugglers are brought to justice and migrants are not re-victimised, but protected under the provisions of law,” he added.
IOM will support the Government’s priorities in raising awareness of the new law, improving investigation and prosecution techniques, and introducing mechanisms to safeguard the rights and address the needs of smuggled migrants.
International Office of Migration (IOM)