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Aya Hegazi

Aya Hegazy

Belady Foundation for Street Children.

Aya Hegazy (Hijazi) is a children's rights defender who decided to return to Egypt after the 25 January Revolution to engage in social development and children's rights. In February 2014, along with Mohammed Hassanein, she launched the Belady Foundation for Street Children. The foundation aimed to address the plight of street children in Egypt who did not have the opportunity to attend school, and provide them with reading, writing and art classes, recycling workshops, and other activities. Advocacy campaigns for child rights were also developed by the foundation, along with several other initiatives to improve the lives of street children.

A significant crackdown on civil society in Egypt has been taking place since 2014. HRDs face an extremely challenging situation due to restrictions imposed on civil society and peaceful public gatherings and protests, travel bans, the arrest and sentencing of HRDs, bloggers, journalists and protesters, as well as an ongoing smear campaign against human rights groups.