Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2011)|
|Method(s)||Human rights, Advocacy|
The EIPR was established to complement the work of other Egyptian human rights groups by adopting as its mandate, and focus of concern, a group of rights and freedoms that are closest to the human-being: his/her body, privacy and house. These rights often are ignored or overlooked. The EIPR activists believe that the crucial importance of public freedoms and political rights must be grounded in an understanding of the indispensability of full protection for personal rights. EIPR activists share a notion that the individual is not reducible to a mere component of the community or the State. Therefore, responsibilities and duties that result from the individual's belonging to his/her community and State should affirm, not destroy, the individual's capacity to make choices and maintain independence as a free entity. Each member of society deserves respect for her or his personal dignity and integrity. Thus, they aim to explore the line between private and public in the lives of individual members of community and society, while realizing the interrelation and interdependence of these two spheres. They also attempt to promote a debate about the State's legitimate powers and the areas it should not invade while undertaking its legitimate responsibilities to protect people from abuse.
The EIPR works in four main areas:
- Right to Health
The EIPR considers the enjoyment of the right to health to be a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other bodily rights. This program promotes and defends people's right to access to health services, treatment and essential medicines and freedom from discrimination based on health status. Other subjects of concern include HIV/AIDS and human rights, the interrelation between health and violence, and reproductive health issues in Egypt.
- Freedom of Religion and Belief
The EIPR works to promote and defend the right to freedom of religion and belief in Egypt through research and monitoring, strategic legal interventions and advocacy campaigns. The program is currently addressing three interrelated issues: laws, policies and practices that directly or indirectly discriminate on the ground of religion or belief ; violations by security agencies and prosecutions based on religion or belief; and the response by the state and society to incidents of sectarian tension and violence in Egypt. The program's flagship Quarterly Reports document and update developments related to freedom of religion and belief in Egypt every three months.
- Right to Privacy
This program covers a group of rights that are related to the private lives of individuals, including their rights to secrecy of communications and correspondence, to freedom of religion and belief, to protection of reputation, and to adequate housing; in addition to sexual and reproductive rights of women and men.
- Violence and Bodily Integrity
This program focuses on the protection of the individual's body from all forms of assault. The program pays special attention to fighting physical and sexual violence in the family, especially against women and children, as well as the eradication of widespread corporal punishment of school children. The program attempts to develop a rights-based approach that outlines the responsibility of the State towards eradicating sexual violence by non-State actors.
EIPR established North African Litigation Initiative (NALI) in 2010 to encourage NGOs and human rights defenders from North Africa to play a more active role within the African Human Rights System. Such activity is essential to ensure that North African States are promoting and protecting the rights contained in the African Charter.
NALI provides technical and financial assistance to North African NGOs and human rights defenders who wish to litigate using the African human rights system, especially the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
- Soussi, Alasdair (July 2009). "Hossam Bahgat: Interview with Egyptian human rights activist". New Internationalist. Retrieved December 11, 2009.