A campaign was carried out by police in January in order to curtail the chances of children being exposed to corruption and risk, the Ministry of Interior said.
A statement by the Ministry of Interior on Saturday said corrupters and exploiters of children involved in various crimes had been arrested.
The campaign exposed three cases of human trafficking, eight cases of exploiting children to beg on the streets and 11 cases of child labour. A group of 32 juveniles were arrested for being at risk for various reasons, including sleeping on roads and collecting garbage.
In Egyptian law, a juvenile is defined as an individual who is younger than the age of 18. Lawyer Mohamed Zare’, who runs the Arab Penal Reform Centre, said that arresting juveniles for their protection is not a sufficient reason. As an example, he pointed out that while begging is a crime, many of those found sleeping on the streets are just homeless children and “my fear is that in order to solve one problem, we are violating the law by arresting them.”
Juveniles will likely be presented to prosecutors, who may send them to juvenile detention centres or place them under the guardianship of their relatives, said Zare’.
Regarding conditions inside juvenile detention centres, Zare’ said that unfortunately, many centres are not fulfilling their purpose of reforming those in their care. “It is not just about taking them to the detention centres,” he said. “You have to have a plan to protect and educate them.”