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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

House approves Labor Unions Act, Youth Institutions Act, ban on drones

LEGISLATION WATCH- The House of Representatives approved yesterday in its plenary session the contentious labor unions and youth institutions acts, Ahram Gate reports. The Labor Unions Act has been under fire from the International Labor Organization, the World Federation of Trade Unions, and the Egyptian Federation of Trade Unions as being too restrictive to union activity and freedom. MP Mohamed Elsewedy had previously called for the bill to mandate stronger oversight on unions’ financing. It remains unclear if Elsewedy’s proposal was included in the bill’s final form.

Meanwhile, the Youth Institutions Act seems to have passed with few changes from the general assembly. The bill bans political activity at public youth clubs, in addition to barring smoking, drinking alcohol, and gambling inside youth clubs and institutions.

The ban on drones also received parliament’s final stamp of approval, according to the newspaper (which had initially reported that voting on the bill was postponed). The law bans the manufacturing, possession, and use of drones without Defense Ministry approval. Violators could receive the death penalty if found guilty of using drones to commit acts of terror. The bill also sets prison sentences of up to seven years and fines ranging between EGP 5,000-50,000 for those found in possession of the aircraft.

Also approved during yesterday’s session: Amendments to the law on constructing family courts and amendments to the inheritance law. Voting on the bills had been long postponed, forcing House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal to specifically demand MPs’ presence at yesterday’s plenary session to push through the legislation.

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