Laura Clarke is an International Relations graduate living in London. She enjoys writing, talking and, thankfully, quite likes rain too.
Egyptian Kids Abducted in Record Numbers!
Children’s rights activists in Egypt have united in their call for the government to act against the increase in child abductions since the revolution. A coalition consisting of 100 child advocacy groups has expressed serious concern at the negligible attention paid to the crisis by the new administration.
Reports suggest that child abductions have risen threefold since the popular uprising and the Coalition on Children’s Rights has indicated a 300 percent increase in the number of abduction-related calls it receives from parents. Hani Helal, secretary-general of the Egyptian Coalition on Children’s Rights, has suggested that there is an unwillingness on the part of the government to take up the cause of Egypt’s children: “We have major difficulties dealing with the government, which does not view children as first-rate citizens like everybody else.”
Evidence suggests that the increase in child abductions is motivated by ransom-collection or the theft of body organs. One woman, Hayam Rabie, experienced the terror first-hand after her one-year old daughter was abducted by a neighbour. She described how, upon breaking into the neighbour’s house with relatives and friends, they discovered empty blood bags, syringes, and other medical supplies. Her daughter has not been found.
Following the popular uprising, the abduction of children has become an effective avenue for criminal enterprise. With little protection offered by the police force, Egypt’s children are being targeted as an easy means to accrue vast sums of money in a short period. The Coalition is calling on the government to fulfill its obligations as the protector of all citizens.
Representing the most vulnerable group in times of crisis and transition, children must be afforded the protection they deserve.
Read more at IRIN.