Nearly 26.4 percent of Egyptian children are poor, according to a government report released Monday, which also said that 8.11 percent of those children are food insecure, while 9.4 percent cannot afford education.
The report by the Central Agency for Public Mobility and Statistics, which coincides with the United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day on 20 November, said during the period 2010–2011, the number of working children aged between 5 and 17 reached about 1.59 million — 3.9 percent of the total number of children.
Seventy-nine percent of those are male, with girls accounting for 21 percent, it said.
The agency noted that 61.9 of children were working for their families for free, compared with 6.36 percent who get paid. There are 5.1 percent who work on their own, it added.
Sixty-four percent of children work in agriculture, 18 percent in industrial activities and 18 percent in miscellaneous services.
The report said the school enrollment rate for working children ages 5 to 17 increased by 6.65 percent, compared with 6.88 percent for non-working children.
About 43.6 percent of working children are subject to dust and smoke resulting from bad work conditions, while 20.8 percent sustain injuries, and 57.7 percent suffer from other damages while on the job.
The infant mortality rate dropped last year to 19.6 per thousand infants, down from 21.3 per thousand during the previous year, recording a drop of 1.7 percent, according to the report.
Edited translation from MENA