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Rights of Children and the Disabled

By Omneya Makhlouf

Article 10 outlines that the state is required to guarantee the protection of “childhood, take care of children and youth, and provide suitable conditions for the development of their talents.” In Article 15, children (along with wives) are given priority in work opportunities in cases where the father (or husband) is killed in war. The rights of the disabled are not mentioned.




Article 10 binds the state to ensure “child health services free of charge,” while Article 65 retains the rights mentioned in 1971’s Article 15. Article 70 specifically discusses the rights of a child to “a proper name, family care, basic nutrition, shelter, health services, and religious, emotional and cognitive development.” It also mentions the state’s obligation to care for and protect the child in the event of family loss. The state must also preserve the rights of disabled children as well as their integration into society. Article 70 also prohibits child labor, stipulating that a child cannot work “before passing the age of compulsory education, in jobs that are not fit for a child’s age, or that prevent the child from continuing education.” Finally, it discusses the conditions under which a child may be detained, which include safeguarding his or her wellbeing. Article 71 ensures that the state provides care for children and youth and supports their spiritual, moral, cultural, educational, physical, psychological, social, and economic development, as well as empowers them to participate actively in the political scene.

Article 72 maintains that the state must provide for disabled persons with health, economic and social care, and employment opportunities; increase social awareness about them, and create a suitable environment with regards to public facilities to accommodate their needs.



Articles 80 and 81 deal with the rights of the child and the disabled respectively, in addition to Article 11, which ensures the protection and care of children. Article 16 provides the same rights as those of Article 15 of the 1971 constitution.

Article 80 defines a child as anyone who has not reached the age of 18 and guarantees rights outlined in Article 70 of the 1971 constitution; it also adds the state’s responsibility to protect children from “violence, abuse, mistreatment, and commercial and sexual exploitation.” It also elaborates on the detention of children outlined in the 2012 constitution, by establishing a judicial system for child victims and witnesses.

Article 81 binds the state to guarantee rights to people with disabilities. This article provides similar rights to those of Article 72 of the 2012 constitution but adds that the state will support disabled persons in their integration with other citizens so as to achieve equality, justice and equal opportunities. To ensure these rights are carried out for children and the disabled, Article 214 creates the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and the National Council for Persons with Disability. et


The official texts of all three constitutions in both Arabic and English translation can be found at www.sis.gov.eg. To compare the full text of the three charters side by side, visit


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