Egypt + 2 more

Egypt: 3RP Monthly Update - February 2015: Protection

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33 refugees have been provided with legal counseling and assistance since the beginning of 2015

FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS:

• UNHCR is aware of 17 Syrians nationals and 59 Palestine refugees from Syria who are still being held in detention in Alexandria for attempting to depart or enter Egypt in an irregular manner.

• On 9 February 2015, the 71 detainees who are being held in Karmouz Police station since November 2014 started a hunger strike as a result of being held in detention for more than 100 days. They are part of a group 104 refugees from Syria (45 Syrians and 59 Palestine refugees from Syria), who had departed from Turkey hoping to reach Italy and were apprehended on an island off the Egyptian coast. All the individuals were taken to Karmouz Police station, Alexandria Governorate.

• UNHCR continues to advocate with the authorities for their release. And, continues to monitor the situation closely and provide humanitarian assistance, as needed, together with its partners Caritas and PSTIC.

• Since the beginning of 2015, UNHCR has been alerted of the arrest of 16 Syrian nationals at Cairo International Airport, attempting to either depart or enter Egypt, for reasons related to either possession of forged renewal of national passport (received via Turkey) or forged Egyptian residency permits. UNHCR advocacy with MFA resulted in the release of seven of them, who are currently in the process of regularizing their stay in Egypt.

• Care International in collaboration with the Royal Netherland Football Association (KNVB) conducted a sports day event that included 64 girls. The event was co-facilitated by CAREtrained Syrian youth volunteers and KNVB. Games were designed to promote peace and sustainable development while also focusing on the empowerment of girls.

• The opening ceremony of the “Meet and Play Area” in Masaken Othman was held by UNHCR Egypt together with “Takween Integrated Community Development” in cooperation with the 6 October City Administration and the New Urban Communities Authority in the Ministry of Housing in Egypt. It celebrated the completion of the construction of the Community Garden, which was planned, designed and built in full participation of the area residents. Masaken Othman is a housing project for vulnerable Syrian and host Egyptian community. The “Meet and Play" project was implemented under the Community Support Projects.

• Following the development of the inter-agency Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) on Child Protection, a case management SOPs training was conducted for child protection caseworkers. Members of the Child Protection Sub-Working Group (CPSWG) drew on partners’ expertise, experience and knowledge to enhance and strengthen the protection of children by establishing a coordinated quality case management process including systematic referral pathways. A total of 48 caseworkers and 41 supervisors from 19 organizations based in Cairo, Alexandria and Damietta attended. The four day training provided a good understanding of the case management processes, its steps and challenges.

• In a continuous effort to strengthen the national child protection system in Egypt, UNHCR participated in the launch of the 2015 National Plan for Egypt’s Child Protection Committees (CPC) organized by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). The key objectives included the roll-out of a unified training programme for all CPCs and linking the national helpline on child protection to the CPC on Governorate and District level. As a result, a 4-day Training of Trainers was organized by the NCCM, with the involvement of UNICEF, Save the Children, Terre des Hommes, FACE, Community-based Organizations and UNHCR. The long-term goal is to contribute to staff and organizational capacity for the CPCs and in particular provide future training for Committee members on identification and responding to protection risks faced by all children including refugee children.