Children’s organization Plan International has warned that more children are at risk of becoming victims of increasing political violence in Egypt.
Acting Country Director of Plan Egypt Ayman Sadek urged calm, repeating calls for both sides to ensure children are kept well away from political demonstrations and hotspots.
The plea comes as Egypt braces itself following violent crackdowns to end to demonstrations in support of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Mr. Sadek said: “There have been children reported among the dead and injured of Wednesday’s violence and we are very concerned about many more becoming casualties.
“Children and youth in Egypt are protected under both international and domestic law and should not be forced into taking part in demonstrations or allowed to become caught in the crossfire of violent confrontations.
“We are concerned also of the impact of children witnessing the trauma of such clashes and are closely monitoring the situation with the safety of children and our staff in mind while hoping for peace.”
Many young children have been seen at demonstrations and there have been disturbing reports of some groups deliberately bringing in vulnerable children. One of Plan’s partner organizations said it was offered money in exchange for sending street children into a demonstration area.
Plan’s operations in Egypt have been affected in the wake of the violence. All Plan staff are reported safe but many operations in program areas have been scaled down. Travel into the country has been stopped for all but essential emergency personnel and staff have been advised to avoid hotspots and to take precautionary security measures.
The nation is currently under a declared state of emergency and further protests in the capital and other towns across Egypt are expected in the coming days. A curfew is also in place across much of the country.
Information for Sponsors
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