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Africa

2013-02-15

AFRICA/EGYPT - Violence against street children, orphans, abandoned increase

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The scene that one sees walking the streets of Cairo is many homeless wandering victims of sexual violence and subjected to the use of drugs. They live in poverty and danger. Although there are no official figures on how many there are, the latest estimates of the Centre for Egyptian Social and Criminal Research, reported that 36% of street children have suffered sexual abuse, violence and other coercive practices such as prostitution. Some are lucky enough to end up in reception centers. One of these centers, run by the NGO Hope Village, is in the district of Nasser where twenty children live eat, sleep, study and play in shared spaces. The NGO is present in various cities of the country, and every year are able to assist an average of nearly 6,000 needy children, orphans, abandoned or with families in economic difficulties. Most of them have been victims of sexual violence and some need medical care due to physical and psychological after-effects. The perpetrators tend to look for younger people because they think they have less chance of contracting diseases such as AIDS. The situation becomes more complicated when the girls raped become pregnant. Insecurity of the roads and the political instability of the country contribute to the phenomenon. Although there is detention for the perpetrators of this violence, the current laws are not enough. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 15/02/2013)

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