The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Challenges: Egypt’s long-term challenges include creating accountable governance institutions, generating inclusive economic growth, and combating ISIS and other terrorist groups. The Egyptian Army is working to combat terrorist groups and the trafficking of weapons and other contraband that could be used by terrorists. Allegations of police abuse and impunity are common in Egypt. While crime levels are moderate overall, women regularly face sexual harassment, including by security forces, and female genital mutilation remains a common practice despite being officially criminalized. A long history of reliance on the state to provide services has also contributed to a culture of corruption. Political institutions, such as Parliament and the judiciary, remain weak relative to the executive branch.
Goals: INL programs improve rule of law and promote protections for human rights through criminal justice sector reform. INL programs build capacity to conduct effective criminal investigations, which include independently analyzed physical evidence and respect for the rights of victims.
- Since 2014, INL completed programming that assisted the Egyptian government in developing criminal justice sector response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The programming provided technical assistance and supported multi-disciplinary actors involved in responding to these issues. INL, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), conducted five U.S. study tours for approximately 50 Egyptian justice sector officials focused on responding to sexual and gender-based violence. INL also partnered with the American Bar Association (ABA) to provide professional training for public prosecutors investigating and prosecuting cases of SGBV.
- INL recently supported the Public Prosecutor’s Office in developing its training academy, Criminal Research and Training Institute (CRTI), to provide public prosecutors with modern training on core investigative and prosecutorial functions. The project built institutional capacity of the CRTI to promote appropriate investigative and prosecutorial standards of practice through improved organizational management, curriculum and faculty development, and the delivery of training opportunities for Egyptian prosecutors.
- INL currently is working with the United Nation’s Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to educate public prosecutors on effective handling of cases that involve human rights and instituting procedures in line with international standards and norms. Additionally, UNODC is instituting public awareness campaigns to educate the public on their human rights within the criminal justice system to raise awareness and improve the usage of the formal criminal justice system.
- Since 2019, INL has collaborated with the Government of Egypt to institute INL’s Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) to help address the health, crime, and security problems posed by increasing drug use. The joint efforts of INL, the Colombo Plan, the United Arab Emirate’s National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), and Egyptian experts, especially the General Secretariat of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment, have led to inauguration of programs to significantly expand the number of health professionals with UTC training.