U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Egypt

Egypt (Tier 2)

Egypt is a transit country for women and girls trafficked from Eastern Europe and Russia into Israel for sexual exploitation. Some victims, primarily from sub-Saharan Africa, may also transit Egypt en route to Europe. Various sources indicate that unspecified numbers of women, particularly from Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, are smuggled or trafficked through the Sinai desert into Israel. Some women who seek economic opportunity in Israel willingly chose to make this journey. Others are deceived or compelled to make the journey. Bedouin smugglers appear to play a key role in their travel. Once in Israel, they are sexually exploited in prostitution. According to the Government of Egypt, 154 persons, including 93 women who entered Egypt in 2004 on tourist visas, remain unaccounted for. Some Egyptian males are smuggled into Europe and are reportedly subjected to involuntary servitude.

The Government of Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Following the October 2004 terrorist attacks in the Sinai, the government increased its security vigilance in the region. The government signed a "pledge document" with Bedouin tribal leaders in the Sinai, which, among other things, elicits their cooperation to report on trafficking-related activities. The government should appoint a national coordinator to oversee its overall anti-trafficking efforts; conduct an assessment of the trafficking situation and develop a national plan of action to combat it; adopt and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; train its law enforcement personnel to identify trafficking crimes, prosecute more traffickers, and care for victims; and develop effective protection and prevention programs.


During the reporting period, the Government of Egypt made modest efforts to prosecute trafficking cases. Egypt does not have specific anti-trafficking legislation; nonetheless, it uses other criminal codes to punish traffickers. In 2004, a criminal court in the Sinai sentenced one person to three and a half years in prison for attempting to traffic five Russian and Moldavian women into Israel. Press reports indicate that in September 2004, 13 Eastern European women were rescued after a gun battle between security forces and Bedouin traffickers. In early 2005, the Ministry of Interior established an Office of Organized Crime within the Ministry, to serve as a coordinating body for narcotics and human trafficking. The government should enhance its law enforcement collaborations with source, destination, and other transit countries in order to identify and dismantle any trafficking networks and prosecute the criminals behind them.


The Government of Egypt does not have a trafficking victim protection program. However, in instances where victims are identified, the government turns them over to their embassies for assistance. Repatriation of trafficking victims continues to be conducted on an ad hoc basis. Egypt should consider collaborating with IOM to repatriate victims. It should also develop and implement a uniform protection policy.


The Egyptian Government does not have an anti-trafficking prevention program. However, its consular and immigration officials, at home and abroad, are instructed to be on alert for instances of illegal migration and fraudulent travel. As previously mentioned, the government signed a "pledge document" with tribal leaders in the Sinai, to elicit their cooperation in monitoring trafficking routes. Egypt should develop and implement a public awareness campaign to sensitize the general public, vulnerable groups, and government officials.


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