Since 2014, armed conflict between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), fuelled by the proliferation of non state armed actors as well as growing foreign interference, has had an adverse impact on civilian populations causing displacement, interruptions in government services including life saving interventions, civilian casualties, and damage to civilian infrastructure.
Coupled with weak rule of law and systematic violations of international legal frameworks by all parties to the conflict, the protection environment has progressively deteriorated, resulting in restricted access to safety for civilians, the occurrence of gender based violence, abductions, human trafficking and widespread impunity for violence and such violations.
International Legal Framework: Libya is a signatory of the following legal instruments: Geneva Conventions I IV (ratified 1956) and the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions, I and II (ratified 1978);
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (ratified 1957) and its Protocols I and II (ratified 1957 and 2001 respectively); Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD, ratified in 1968); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, ratified in 1970); International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, ratified in 1976);
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, ratified in 1976); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, (ratified in 1989 with reservations to article 2 on the right to non discrimination and on Articles 16 (c) and (d) on non discrimination on all matters relating to marriage and family relations and stating that the convention should be implemented in accordance with shari’a) as well as a general reservation that accession cannot conflict with personal status laws derived from Sharia); Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT, ratified in 1989);
Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocol (CRC, ratified in 1993 and 2004, respectively); Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW, ratified in 2004); Optional Protocol to CEDAW (CEDAW OP), which allows the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to receive and consider complaints from individuals or groups, acceded in 2004); The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Banjul Charter, ratified in 1986), Protocol to the Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (acceded in 2003) and Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol, ratified in 2004); Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, ratified in 2018) and the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Convention, ratified in 1981).
Libya is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, its 1967 Optional Protocol, nor the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Libya is also not a signatory to several important international arms control treaties, including the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use,
Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention), the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and the 1980 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons and its Protocols.
National law continues to be inconsistent with International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. Even when national legal frameworks do exist, they are inconsistently enforced, contributing to the break down of the rule of law in Libya and the protection gaps and risks explored below.
An abbreviated protection risk analysis below discusses the key protection risks and gaps due to such inconsistencies and the lack of rule of law in the Libyan context.
Over 474,000 individuals have been identified as in need of protection assistance for 2020, highlighting the need for a robust protection response.1 The Protection Sector in Libya is comprised of 17 partner organizations including national and international NGOs as well as UN agencies. The Protection Sector has three sub sectors: Child Protection (coordinated by UNICEF and co coordinated by INTERSOS), Gender Based Violence (coordinated by UNFPA and cocoordinated by CESVI), and Mine Action (coordinated by UNMAS). The Protection Sector co facilitates the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Technical Working Group with the Health Sector. The Protection Sector is guided by a Strategic Advisory Group comprised of 4 NGOs and 4 UN agencies.
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees