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Momentous change swept through Egypt in 2011 following the popular uprising that prompted the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. With the new administration mired in political discord and financial crisis, the promise of a better, fairer society has failed to materialize in many crucial respects, however. The structural changes needed to eradicate entrenched patterns of poverty, inequality and exclusion have been pushed to one side, with socio-economic reform instead bowing to market pressures to reduce the budget deficit at all cost.

                      Publications
Factsheet series for UPR 20th Session (2014)
Joint Submission to CESCR 51st Session (English)
Joint Submission to CESCR 51st Session (Arabic)
Egypt Factsheet (2013) (English)
Egypt Factsheet (2013) (Arabic)
Submission to CESCR Pre-Sessional Working Group
CESCR Pre-Sessional Submission Arabic translation
Egypt should say 'yes' to emergency assistance, but 'no' to the failed development model of the past
Egypt Factsheet (2009)

With the transition process continuing, civil society organizations are working hard to make sure the new government prioritizes the wellbeing of ordinary people by complying with its human rights obligations. In November 2013, Egypt will be required to answer for its performance in this regard, when it appears before the 51st session of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this context, CESR is working closely with the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, and other Egyptian civil society organizations, to make sure the Committee gets a full and accurate picture of what is happening in the country.


As outlined in a joint submission to the Committee, Egypt’s latest appearance before a United Nations treaty monitoring body comes in the wake of an historic uprising in which the people of the country demanded their rights to both political freedoms and a decent standard of living. Anger over a lack of economic prospects, undignified living conditions, endemic poverty, stark inequalities and government corruption fuelled the popular outrage just as much as frustration over restrictive emergency laws, state brutality and the absence of democratic freedoms. It is no exaggeration to say that the success and sustainability of Egypt's democratic transition hinges on addressing these fundamental inequities.

The 2011 uprising was fuelled by the long-term failure of the country’s national economic development model; a model that deepened poverty, unemployment, inequality and social injustice, as documented by CESR’s previous work in Egypt. Pronounced gender disparities in both health and education outcomes were highlighted in a 2009 CESR factsheet produced in light of Egypt’s review by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at its 45th session in January 2010. On that occasion, the Committee's Concluding Observations highlighted issues raised by CESR's factsheet, such as disparities in access to education, discrimination in employment, maternal mortality, female genital mutilation (FGM) and the disadvantages experienced by rural women.  

If the seeds of change that were planted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and countless other streets and plazas around the country, are ever to bear fruit, it is essential that Egypt comply with obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, not only in regards to civil liberties, but also economic and social rights. For this reason, CESR will continue to support the efforts of NGOs in both Egypt and the larger Arab region that are working to ensure human rights are given top priority throughout the transition processes.

Egypt: Widespread rights retrogression exposed before UPR
Briefing papers: New series of factsheets highlights economic and social rights situation in Egypt before the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review.
Egypt must stop penalizing the poor
Op-ed: Writing in Foreign Policy, CESR's Allison Corkery and the ECESR's Heba Khalil unpack the economic and social rights issues at stake in Egypt's elections.
Security forces raid the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and sexually harass women
Press release: This statement was issued by CESR's partner organization, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, after its offices were raided by security forces on Thursday 22 May.
130 organizations join forces at UN to confront Egypt’s human rights crisis
Press Release: As presidential elections draw near in Egypt, a large coalition is taking the country to task before the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review.
UN criticizes Egypt’s rights record and calls for increased investment in economic and social rights
Press release: The United Nations has raised serious concerns over shortcomings in the provision of a broad range of economic, social and cultural rights in Egypt.
New factsheet indicates rights retrogression and worsening living conditions in Egypt
Factsheet: A new factsheet produced by CESR and its Egyptian partner ECESR provides a concise statistical snapshot of worrying trends in economic and social rights in Egypt.
Egypt's rights record found wanting at UN
Press release: The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has firmly criticised Egypt's failure to address the social injustices and marked inequality that fuelled the 2011 revolution.
Egypt to answer to UN body for ongoing social rights crisis
Press release: CESR and its Egyptian partners are in Geneva this week as the North African country makes its first appearance before a UN human rights treaty body since the Arab Spring revolution.
Egypt: new report brings economic and social rights deficits to attention of UN
UN submission: CESR has joined forces with a broad coalition of 57 organizations on a joint parallel report taking the Egyptian government to task at the United Nations.
Egypt should say 'yes' to emergency assistance, but 'no' to the failed development model of the past
Analysis article: CESR Research Consultant Rick Rowden explains why Egypt should be wary of any IMF loan agreement that requires a return to the ineffective policies of the past
Egypt Fact Sheet
This 2009 CESR fact sheet looks at women's rights in Egypt, including their right to health, education, work, water and sanitation. Progress in realizing these rights remains relatively low in Egypt compared to other lower-middle income countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Egypt: Economic and Social Disparities Underlie Calls for Change
by Victoria Wisniewski, Ignacio Saiz and Kevin Donegan
February 4th, 2011
Disparities between youth and adults, and between men and women, especially in health, education, labor and an adequate standard of living, reveal much.