UNICEF has called on governments and authorities around the world to immediately release all detained children so they can safely return to their families or social care centres. UNICEF has also called for an immediate halt of the imprisonment of children as hundreds of thousands of children in prisons and detention centres in various countries around the world are now at risk of infection with coronavirus.
In Egypt, the el-Shehab Centre for Human Rights called on Egyptian authorities to release the detained children in addition to the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases in order to avoid spreading the epidemic. According to the Biladi Centre for Rights and Freedoms, 1,556 children were imprisoned, 198 were subjected to enforced disappearance and 192 were sentenced by a court ruling from 2013 to 2019, according to a report issued in November 2019.
In this report, the centre also monitored that these children were deprived of visits and communicating with their families, in addition to being kept in poor conditions such as being confined to narrow and crowded places, the absence of necessary medical care, and the shortage of adequate food and drink.