Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
ECRF is currently one of the very few human rights organizations that functions on the ground and carries on litigations in national courts despite the ongoing years-old crackdown on civil society in Egypt. ECRF is a membership-based human rights organization, headquartered in Cairo with regional offices in Alexandria, Al- Mansoura and Aswan and members across 13 governorates. ECRF works on strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights culture in Egypt. ECRF produces its research through its four programmes : Criminal Justice, Social and Economic Rights, Minorities and Marginalized Groups, and Refugees and Migrants Rights. ECRF’s methodology is four-pronged through research, advocacy, legal aid and capacity-building. ECRF produces rigorous research that aims to contribute to a better understanding of systematic human rights violations, besides raising awareness of these violations taking place in Egypt. Despite having two of their staff members of their Social and Economic Rights Program, Haitham Mohamedeen and Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, detained by the Egyptian authorities since 2019, ECRF continues to run its work facing serious challenges.
ECRF works in five main ESCR areas: the right to adequate housing, the right to health, right to education and academic freedoms, workers rights, and minorities’ cultural rights. They also seek to start working on environmental justice and climate change issues in the near future. Regarding the right to health, ECRF publishes multiple reports, videos and campaigns to raise awareness about Covid-19 pandemic and the precautionary measures that should be taken by individuals and the government and in prisons. The work aims to combat the misinformation and disinformation about Covid-19 and the vaccine. It also aims to put pressure on the government to improve the health system and to respect prisoners' right to health. ECRF also raises awareness about rights of people with disabilities and medical conditions and celebrates correspondent international days with them. Regarding the right to education, ECRF monitors the government’s educational policies and how they correspond to the international standards and citizens rights stated in the Egyptian constitution. ECRF does research on the quality and the accessibility of education in Egypt. It also works on the prisoners' right to education and access to information.Regarding the right to adequate housing, ECRF studies the urban development policy of the current government and reviews its compliance with the rights to adequate housing as stated by the international human rights law and the Egyptian constitution. ECRF documents forced evictions performed by the Egyptian government as a part of its urban development plans which involve evacuating poor residents from slum areas in Cairo and other cities to build parks, roads, or launch investment projects.
ECRF is working on creating an observatory to monitor cases of forced eviction that might occur during the execution of these governmental plans. After the detention of ECRF’s staffer Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, ECRF published less of its work in this field to protect its staff members as Ezz El-Din was detained due to his work on urban planning and the right to adequate housing. Unfortunately the same applies for their area of work on Labour Rights as their staff member, Haitham Mohamedeen has been detained as a result of his work. Finally, ECRF advocates minorities’ cultural rights to language, religion, and tradition. This includes Nubians, Baha’is, Christians, Shia Muslim. ECRF works closely with minorities and organizes workshops and roundtable discussions with them to make sure that its work corresponds to their needs.