The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights issues a report entitled “The Egyptians abroad .. between the sponsorship system and work difficulties ”

September 24th, 2008 by Editor



The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR)issues a report entitled ” The Egyptians abroad .. between the sponsorship system and work difficulties “ on 24/9/2008  which deals with the  system of the sponsership (Al Kafil) applied in the Arab countries and the most criticisms and disadvantages in the light of its violation against human rights especially the right to work and movement.


The report confirms that there is a significant increase in the number of Egyptians in the Gulf countries , the statistics confirmed that the number of Egyptians who work in Saudi Arabia are about 923.600 with 48.29% of the total of Egyptian workers abroad , while their number in  Kuwait are  190.550 with 9.96 % , the United Arab of Emirates 95.000 with  4.97% , Qatar 25.000 with  1.31% , Oman 15000 with 0.78%, and Bahrain 4.000 with 0.21% . So Saudi Arabia and  UAE are considered the most important Arab countries and among the biggest 20 countries in the world that receive the Egyptian workers during 2005 .


Also the report deals with the situation of Egyptians abroad and violations that they face due to the system of sponsorship  which makes the Egyptians prone to illegal detention and the prevention of the right to move and travel , beside confiscating their passports and residence the matter which forced the worker to disclaim their  rights in order not to face the unjust imprisonment . This is considered a clear violation according to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stated that ” Every one has the right to move and chose his residence  and every one has the right to leave his country including his original country and returning back to it freely “. Also article 1/8 of the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 1990, which stated that ” Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families are free to leave any country, including the State of their origin , and this right is not subjected  to any restrictions except those  stipulated by the law to protect national security, public order or public health or public  morals or the rights and freedoms of others which  are consistent with the other rights recognized in this part of the Convention. ”



The report is divided into three sections as follows, the first section entitled ” The legislative and legal framework which governing the right to work and move ” as it deals with the most important international covenants which guaranteed this right including Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant On economic, social and cultural rights , beside  the regional covenants including the European Social Charter ,and Cairo Declaration for Human Rights in Al Islam in 1990 , and Protocol No. (7) Supplemented  to the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and Article (7) of the American Convention on Human Rights 1969.


As for the second section of the report ,it deals with the  disadvantages of guarantor system as this system is considered one of the most dangerous violations which Egyptian suffer from in the Arab countries . 


As for the third section , it deals with the live testimonies monitored by EOHR as follows :

17 cases monitored in Saudi Arabia

2 cases in UAE

1 case in Kuwait and Qatar




The report ends with a confirmation that the guarantor system is considered one of the worst systems applied with immigrants , also it conflicts with the most fundamental human rights . So it is important to work together and to expert pressure on governments which applies this system to cancel it due to its serious disadvantages particularly that the system conflicts  with the right to work and movement which was stipulated in all covenants and international conventions which confirmed the relation between workers rights or such rights related to work circumstances and the right to work as these rights guarantee the following :-


– The right to work that keep the dignity of workers.

– The right to execute the work chosen by the worker   .

– The right to limited business hours .

– The right to the paid breaks .

– The right to  equal Pay for the work of equal value and  the right to equal treatment .

– The right to the safe work  and healthy conditions .



EOHR called for a set of recommendations as follows :

 1- Establishing a public institution for taking  care of Egyptians in all countries around the world especially for those countries which apply the sponsorship system, however this body or committee includes representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Interior and Manpower and bodies concerned with travel and migration of the Egyptian workers abroad.



2. The State represented by the Ministry of Manpower provides mandatory  lectures for workers to make them aware of their rights before traveling .

3. Taking  the necessary measures needed for the abolition of the sponsor system and supporting the equal opportunities and treatment for Egyptian workers abroad and to find ways that would eliminate all the negative aspects applied by this system.

4. Finding the necessary mechanisms for the coordination with international organizations and Arab and African countries to preserve the rights of Egyptians workers resulted from the regional or international crises .


5. Developing  labor legislations to be in the line with the provisions of the international conventions ratified by the technical administrations in accordance with the international covenants concerned with human rights .



6. Preparing  and updating  the database for those who want to work abroad at the national level and finding  new mechanisms for counting  numbers of Egyptian workers and migrants abroad.

7. Dealing with complaints arising from violations of the rights of Egyptian citizens abroad and the preparation of various types of legal committees to take appropriate action to resolve it and provide legal support.

8. Finding Mechanisms which ensure that the Egyptians  abroad are achieving a suitable circumstances, conditions of employment and accommodation without violating their civil, political, economic and social rights.



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