File Photo - Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan - Photo by Maher Eskander/Egypt Today
CAIRO – 13 November 2019: Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan said Wednesday Egypt has ensured decent lives for refugees and asylum seekers, adding that the number of refugees and asylum seekers currently registered at the UNHCR Regional Representation in Egypt hit 250,000 from 55 nationalities.
Marwan further clarified there are 5 million refugees in Egypt who fled armed conflicts in neighboring countries and did not claimed asylum because of their easy integration into the Egyptian society. They would rather enjoy basic services available to Egyptians, like housing, education, and health, than get isolated in camps.
During his speech before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, at Egypt’s Universal Periodic review session, Marwan said that in line with Egypt’s commitment to its international obligations regarding combating illegal immigration, the country has passed a law in 2016 criminalizing all forms of smuggling migrants, and determines their right to voluntary return.
He also added that a national coordinating committee was established in 2017 to combat and prevent illegal migration and human trafficking, and the state launched a national strategy to combat illegal migration until 2026.
The Minister explained that the efforts exerted in tackling refugees’ affairs were fruitful, and that no ships have transported illegal immigrants from the Egyptian coast since the end of 2016. He added that in recognition of the seriousness of corruption as a major impediment to sustainable development and good governance, the new position of president’s advisor for combating corruption was created.
He further listed strategies Egypt adopted in this regard, including the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014/2018, and the 2019/2022 Strategy, to improve the performance of the government apparatus and public services, in an effort to spread the principles of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and understanding.
Moreover, Marwan stressed that Egypt established a Forum of Moderate Leniency and the Global Observatory to combat extremism, and correct false radical ideas. This is in addition to the continued efforts exerted by both Al-Azhar and the Egyptian Orthodox Church to affirm the values and principles of citizenship for all, and to combat discrimination and incitement.
In the UN Human Rights Council's third comprehensive periodical review (UPR) session for Egypt, the Egyptian Government confirmed adopting a policy that protects and supports human rights.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism that aims to review the human rights records of all Member States of the United Nations, 193 countries, once every four years.