Yesterday, 17 October, the Egyptian parliament passed a law against human trafficking that stiffens penalties against traffickers and is thus expected to stem illegal immigration.
Egypt has had a law against human trafficking but the new legislation deals more specifically with illegal immigrants. Migration experts say it is clearer than previous statutes and could make it easier to prosecute smugglers and others involved in their networks.
According to legal experts, the country may not incriminate the action of individuals leaving, but it now has a new law that better defines trafficking and stipulates penalties of up to 25 years in prison and hefty fines for those found guilty of smuggling potential immigrants or acting as brokers or middlemen. It also imposes prison sentences on those who provide shelter to trafficked migrants, and gather, transport or otherwise facilitate their journey.
The law also makes provisions to protect the rights of migrants to humanitarian treatment and access to healthcare and legal assistance, with special emphasis on women and children. It stipulates the creation of a cabinet-level committee headed by the prime minister to coordinate various national and international efforts for the prevention of illegal immigration and human trafficking.
18 October 2016