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Egypt: Draft Law to Regulate the Establishment and Funding of Non-Governmental Organizations

(Dec. 19, 2013) On December 14, 2013, Egypt’s Minister of Social Services announced that his Ministry had finished drafting legislation concerning the funding and establishment of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Egypt. The proposed law amends current law No. 84-2002. (Draft Law Allows the Foreign Funding of NGOs [in Arabic], AL MASRI AL YOUM (Dec. 13, 2013); Law 84-2002, 22 OFFICIAL GAZETTE (Duplicate) (A), June 5, 2002, at 22.)

The new draft law provides NGOs more freedom to establish their administrative structures and fund their activities than is provided in the current law. For example, under article 5 of the legislation, there is no requirement for prior official authorization to establish an NGO. Also, article 19 allows NGOs to receive funding from foreign entities without an advanced official authorization. However, the draft legislation requires NGOs to notify the Ministry of Social Services of the amount of such funding received, the name of the foreign entity granting the money, and a list of activities that will be funded by the granted amount. (Draft Law Allows the Foreign Funding of NGOs, supra.)

Furthermore, the new legislation prohibits NGOs from pursuing a number of activities, including:

1) creating an armed militia;

2) funding any political candidates in presidential, parliamentary, and provincial elections;

3) contributing to elections of the board of administration in any professional association; and

4) adopting any hate campaign targeting individuals based on their gender, color, or religion. (Id.)