Egypt Watch

Initial approval of the executive regulations of the controversial private labor law

The Egyptian Council of Ministers approved, in principle, the Prime Minister’s draft decision regarding issuing the executive regulations for the Law Regulating the Practice of Private Work, promulgated by Law No. 149 of 2019. This comes one year and two months after Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified the law on private work practice, provided that consensus is reached between the relevant ministries regarding some of the items. For the final approval of the list at the next meeting. The law is the most controversial and criticized domestic and international legislation. Al-Sisi approved a previous version of it in May 2017. Still, he re-enacted legislation to Parliament again to amend in November 2018, following criticism, in a precedent, the first of its kind during his term. The law includes 107 articles to regulate NGOs’ work in the country, amid local and international criticism and concerns about imposing restrictions on Egypt’s civil society.

The international human rights organization “Human Rights Watch” has previously warned of the law, which it said, “imposes restrictions and undermines the independence of civil society work in Egypt.” The new law prohibits, in some of its provisions, the exercise of several activities under the pretext of violating “national security,” and gives the authorities the power to dissolve organizations due to “violations,” and imposes fines of up to one million pounds (about 60 thousand dollars).

Local and international bodies criticize the Egyptian regime because of the human rights situation there, which the authorities used to deny, stressing that they “support freedom of expression, human rights institutions and the independence of the judiciary.”