International Studies, School for

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The Rule of Law in Egypt: Prospects and Challenges

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With the fall of the Mubarak government in February 2011, Egyptians have a historic opportunity to rebuild their legal and political system from the ground up. Egyptians will elect a new government and draft a new constitution that will go before voters in a national referendum. Myriad other laws and legal institutions will be reshaped over the next several years; indeed they are already being rewritten. The moment is appropriate, therefore, to take stock of the positive trends and challenges in strengthening the rule of law in Egypt.


With a population of 83 million, Egypt is by far the most populous country in the Arab World and arguably the most important in terms of regional politics, commerce, and security. This fact alone makes Egypt worthy of our sustained attention. But in the area of law and legal institutions, in particular, Egypt has served as a model of sorts. Egyptian legal professionals work throughout the Arab World and a number of Arab countries that have mimicked Egyptian legal institutions and practices. As a result of this influence, prospects for the rule of law in Egypt have regional and not only domestic implications.

Document type: 
Technical Report

After Abduction: Exploring Access to Reintegration Programs and Mental Health Status among Young Female Abductees in Northern Uganda

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Reintegration programs are commonly offered to former combatants and abductees to acquire civilian status and support services to reintegrate into post-conflict society. Among a group of young female abductees in northern Uganda, this study examined access to post-abduction reintegration programming and tested for between group differences in mental health status among young women who had accessed reintegration programming compared to those who self-reintegrated.


This cross-sectional study analysed interviews from 129 young women who had previously been abducted by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA). Data was collected between June 2011-January 2012. Interviews collected information on abduction-related experiences including age and year of abduction, manner of departure, and reintegration status. Participants were coded as ‘reintegrated’ if they reported ≥1 of the following reintegration programs: traditional cleansing ceremony, received an amnesty certificate, reinsertion package, or had gone to a reception centre. A t-test was used to measure mean differences in depression and anxiety measured by the Acholi Psychosocial Assessment Instrument (APAI) to determine if abductees who participated in a reintegration program had different mental status from those who self-reintegrated.


From 129 young abductees, 56 (43.4%) had participated in a reintegration program. Participants had been abducted between 1988–2010 for an average length of one year, the median age of abduction was 13 years (IQR:11–14) with escaping (76.6%), being released (15.6%), and rescued (7.0%) being the most common manner of departure from the LRA. Traditional cleansing ceremonies (67.8%) were the most commonly accessed support followed by receiving amnesty (37.5%), going to a reception centre (28.6%) or receiving a reinsertion package (12.5%). Between group comparisons indicated that the mental health status of abductees who accessed ≥1 reintegration program were not significantly different from those who self-reintegrated (p > 0.05).


Over 40% of female abductees in this sample had accessed a reintegration program, however significant differences in mental health were not observed between those who accessed a reintegration program and those who self-reintegrated. The successful reintegration of combatants and abductees into their recipient community is a complex process and these results support the need for gender-specific services and ongoing evaluation of reintegration programming.

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