Hundreds of cases of trafficking, rape, abuse, torture, and exploitation have been documented by organizations and authorities in both Israel and Egypt. Many Eritreans seek refuge in Israel, but many never arrive as they die at the hands of the brutal traffickers along the way. Many victims fall prey to traffickers in the refugee camps in Sudan as well. This is a regional issue that must be dealt with through international cooperation.
This petition has been jointly written by Eritrean and Jewish community members in the United States. We ask you, conscientious citizens of the world, to join our cause: We cannot stand idly by while people suffer such atrocities. Please see the news items for reports on this topic.
- Secretary of State
United States State Department
Take Action to Stop Human Trafficking in Sinai
Dear United States State Department, Egyptian Government, United Nations, and the European Union,
I write today to urge the United States State Department, the United Nations, the European Union, and the Egyptian Government to work together to put an end to the human, sex, and organ trafficking, systematic rape and torture, and exploitation that African asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea, face at the hands of Bedouin criminal organizations in the Sinai desert.
Hundreds of cases of trafficking, rape, abuse, torture, and exploitation have been documented by organizations and authorities in both Israel and Egypt. Many Eritreans seek refuge in Israel, but many never arrive as they die at the hands of the brutal traffickers along the way. Many victims fall prey to traffickers in the refugee camps in Sudan as well.
Sinai is within Egypt’s borders and it is Egypt’s responsibility to protect all those within its borders. Egypt’s Law 64 on the Combat of Human Trafficking defines trafficking as the “sale or transport of people through the use of force, or abduction, fraud or deception, or exploiting people for purposes such as forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude.” It is clear that Egypt is not upholding this law.
Under President Mubarak, the Egyptian government did not acknowledge the crimes being committed in Sinai. Since President Morsy has come to power in Egypt, Human Rights Watch has found that Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has also avoided the issue by claiming that they do not have the capacity to enter Sinai as it is controlled by armed groups.
I join many others in speaking up for the voiceless victims of such horrors. We demand that the Egyptian government take control of the Sinai Peninsula and end the human rights abuses occurring there. And we strongly urge the United States government, the European Union, and the United Nations to take action by encouraging and supporting Egypt’s efforts to end human trafficking and abuse in the Sinai desert in line with international law and to take action on ending the trafficking taking place in the refugee camps in Sudan as well.
Eritrean Youth for Solidarity & Change + Right Now: Advocates for African Asylum Seekers in Israel started this petition with a single signature, and now has 7,027 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.