150 NGOs adopt a new bill to replace Law No. 84-2002

November 24th, 2008 by Editor

      At the end of a workshop entitled ” Egypt … Towards a new law for NGOs “which was  held by “Egyptian Organization for Human Rights “(EOHR) on Sunday 23/11/2008 at its office , 150 NGOs in 14 governorates in the north and south of Egypt adopt a new bill for NGOs to replace the current law No.84 /2002 in accordance with the international covenants and principles concerned with human rights especially what related to the right to organization . Participants agreed to submit the bill to the parliament , the Minister of Social Solidarity, as well as President of the Republic .

 

 

 

Participants agreed on the importance of dialogue between governmental agencies and NGOs on the future of civil work in Egypt and the necessary of holding common meetings to discuss the proposals concerning the new bill .

 

 

 

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada , Secretary-General of EOHR , clarified that the Egyptian society has witnessed recently a debate on Law No. 84 /2002 . This debate is run among NGOs as some saw the necessary to amend the law while others suggested to stipulate another bill to replace it . This vision comes within the Ministry of Social Solidarity ‘s  attempt to form a committee to amend this law . It is worth noting that this workshop held within the framework of EOHR’s campaign for NGOs  rights and freedoms and in its efforts to amend Law No. 84 / 2002, in collaboration with the German Freidrich Naumann Foundation supported by the European Union. The campaign began its work in March 2008.  It includes north and south governorates to discuss the concept of civil work and the role of NGOs in supporting the community as a partner in development.  It also examines the constraints and challenges which face NGOs and how to overcome them, and hopes to replace Law No. 84 of 2002 .

 

 

 

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada clarified that the Egyptian alliance for the freedom of NGOs  which falls within the EOHR’s campaign  held a series of meetings in Cairo and other governorates to discuss Law No.84 of 2002 and to clear up challenges that face the NGOs on the following levels :

 

 

 

Civil sector and government sector.
— Civil sector and the security bodies.
— Civil sector and its interior problems .
— Civil sector and international organizations.


Abu Seada added that in the view of these meetings , EOHR prepared a bill that such discussions focused on it . Also  Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies ( CIHRS)prepared another bill for the same law , so EOHR  saw the necessary to unit the efforts exerted in this concern .

 

 As for the challenges that face the civil work in Egypt , participants agreed that the challenges are represented as follows :  

 

 

 

 

   

A – legal challenges: 


— Registering NGOs through  long-winded  administrative procedures the matter which impedes the activities of NGOs  and affects the ability of the founders  to continue the process of registering .

 

— The absence of the  legislative environment that encourage the civil work .

 

B – Administrative challenges:

 

— The Dominance of the executive and administrative authorities on the civil activity and NGOs as they often ignore the importance role that NGOs play .

 

 

— The non-activation of some articles of the NGOs law, especially that articles that  given some exemptions such as the  exemption from 50% of the consumption of electricity, water and telephones .

 

C – Organizational  and institutional challenges:


— The low level of institutional and organizational role for the  most of NGOs which are not able to perform their mission and communicate effectively with suppliers , government , the private sector and local communities accordingly
.

 

 

–The non-effectiveness of general ,regional and qualitative unions  to  raise the level of  NGOs and help them to overcome their problems and support their  institutional and organizational capabilities.

 

 — The lack of awareness among many individuals, especially young people concerning the concept of civil work and volunteerism concept .

 

 
— The weak voluntary contributions for  the  private sector concerned with charitable  deeds , which has impacted negatively on the work and activity of NGOs.


— The executive authorities  failure to help the NGO to  achieve their  goals , this is due to the lack of executive bodies  awareness on the importance of NGOs .

 

D – Financial challenges:


— The difficulty to find a  suitable headquarters for many NGOs, especially after the high rent  values as the aids and donations offered to civil society organizations are still limited .

 

 

 

Participants expressed some observations on the bill , most of them are represented in the necessary to stipulate that the  members of the NGOs shouldn’t be less than 5 members , also the commercial companies and other companies which were established according to the rules of law for article  505 are excluded from the civil law ,however all other Penal Code rules are applied for them .

 

 

Participants suggested in article 2 to add a paragraph as follows : ” Determine the members number of board of trustees and its majors and the way to elect it and dissolve and the reasons for that , also they suggest to add a provision to article 3 as the establishment process shouldn’t conflict with religion or morals , with preserving on the paragraph which confirms that if the number of active members are less than 10 persons , the competence of General Assembly comes to the board of trustees .Also suggestion has been added to article 7,10 ” Informing the regional union for NGOs with approved copy of the system of the registered NGO ” .   

 

 

 

 

At the end of the workshop , participants recommends the following :

 

  1 – Releasing the freedom  of NGOs through the removal of legal and administrative restrictions  which face their work through issuing an alternative legislation replacing Law No.84 /2002 which hinders the development of civil society and to open a dialogue with State agencies  to discuss these restrictions .  They called People’s Assembly and Shura Council to hold a hear sessions for NGOs  to identify the opinion on any proposed  bill for NGOs .

 

 

 

2- Promoting the civil work in Egypt   and confirming the independence of NGOs through adopting the liberal  philosophy  for activities , registration ,administration , the necessary of teamwork  in order not to repeat the same activity and taking the best  advantage of resources   , and the necessary of supporting the principles of accountability and transparency  inside NGOs .

 

 

 

3-     Strengthen the role of  General Assembly as a high power .

 

4- Satisfying with the general penal code in case of violating legitimacy  and law in managing  NGOs   and canceling all sanctions in NGOs law to encourage the voluntary work.

 

5- Establishing NGOs through  notification rather than licensing system

 

6- Allowing the NGOs  to receive donations through notification rather than a system of prior permission  under the monitoring of Ministry of social solidarity .

 

7- NGOs  have the right to develop  its financial resources including charges and members donations and granting and helps from any normal person or legal personality and performing activities to gain profits which never be distributed to its members.

 

 

It is worth noting that the bill was accepted by about 150 NGOs in (Cairo, Giza, Helwan, Kalubia, Alexandria, Gharbia, Beni Suef, Assiut, Menya,, Suez, Damietta, Port Said, Al Behira , Assiut) .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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