On Thursday, December 10, 2020, the Libya Institute for Advanced Studies organized a workshop entitled: Human Rights in Libya, on the Zoom platform on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.
2020 theme: Recover Better – Stand up for human rights.
The meeting was moderated by Mr. Sami Al-Jawadi, a human rights activist
Professor Sami Al-Jawadi opened the meeting by saying: The world celebrates Human Rights Day on December 10 of every year. It was officially launched in 1950 after the issuance of Resolution No. 423 of the United Nations, and called on countries and organizations to adopt December 10 of each year as an international day for human rights.
Then he introduced Dr. Abdel Moneim Al-Horr, President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, Libya Branch, Doctor of International Law, and Lecturer in Political Sciences. He has published many research papers and articles. He has published many books on women’s and human rights. The title of his intervention is: Human Rights “A General Introduction.” This is a summary of his intervention. :
Human rights are all the needs that must be available to all human beings without distinction of colour, sex or country.
Among the most important traditional rights at that stage that were emphasized in the Declaration were the right to life, the right to opinion, the sanctity of private life, the right to enjoy personality and equality, the right to property, the right to nationality, the right to litigation, and the right to defense.
Countries gradually adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a general framework, and a group of special agreements emerged from it, such as children, women, minorities, and the fight against torture.
Libya has ratified many agreements on human rights. In terms of application, we find that there is a large gap. The reason for this is a lack of understanding of the agreements and covenants, even though they are binding and are the responsibility of the Libyan state.
At this stage and the transitional stages, it is difficult to implement these agreements in their entirety due to the many obstacles, which are the same obstacles that have limited the establishment of the Libyan state until now.
In 1984, Libya joined and ratified the conventions against torture. However, we find that torture is widespread in Libya, and the reason is the lack of law, due to the state’s inability.
Torture is a humanitarian crime if the Libyan judiciary is unable to defend the victims, and if it is proven that the murder was agreed upon with insistence, and that the Libyan judiciary is unable to prosecute the perpetrators or militia leaders, then it is possible to talk about the possibility of international judiciary intervention because torture is a humanitarian crime.
If the state is unable, and capacity is a criterion, then capacity here is absent in the Libyan issue, and the Libyan judiciary is unable to bring to justice those who committed major human rights violations, such as the Gargour crime. The Libyan judiciary is unable to bring war criminals and human rights violators to justice.
The increasing pace of human rights violations is due to impunity, and we expect many of them to occur, as long as there is an absence of the rule of law, as long as there is the spread of armed militias, and the spread of organized crime (cross-border crime), and the Libyan authorities do not have the ability to bring criminals in, the absence of the rule of law and the lack of It enables the Libyan state to stand up again in the shadow of those gangs that have spread throughout the Libyan body.
Then the second intervention was by Dr. Jazia Shaiteer, a faculty member at the University of Benghazi, Deputy Director of the Center for Law and Society Studies in Benghazi, a human rights activist. The title of the intervention was: “Women’s Rights,” and this is its summary:
By shedding light on human rights in general, and on obscure, marginalized, or marginalized groups, when we talk about women’s rights, we must remember that women are human beings, and therefore everything that is said about human rights necessarily includes them.
How can we address the issue of women’s rights? If we want to analyze women’s rights and their legal protection, we can analyze Libyan law or the Libyan legislative system compared to international laws, especially since Libya is a signatory to many conventions on human rights and women’s rights in particular, and we can compare the lived reality with Libyan law, because unfortunately the law After analyzing and calibrating the Libyan law, we will discover that it is not ideal, and that it is not implemented in reality. The reality is worse than the bad law.
When we want to talk about women’s rights, a group of topics and terms will arise before us: violence against women, discrimination against women, women and political or economic empowerment, women’s rights, violations of women’s rights, and spatial and temporal conditions.
Professor Jamal Al-Mabrouk Al-Gharabli, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Organization and World Relief, specialized in studying the phenomenon of asylum and immigrants, and his intervention on immigrants and human rights, and this is a summary of his intervention:
It is very important that we as human rights activists come together on this international day.
Libya is a country that has been receiving migrants for many years, as a result of the small population, the lack of labor, and the importance of a development movement. Over the past years, it has received millions of migrants, and estimates estimate that there are approximately 2 million and more migrant workers in Libya.
The situation changed after 2011, as the status of the Libyan state changed and it became unable to protect its borders. There was a noticeable activity of migrants seeking to live in this country.
The problem of immigration is one of the most important concerns of all countries of the world, and it has caused many problems and exhausted our country, Libya, human trafficking and smuggling networks, and the inability of local authorities to confront these problems.
As a result, many violations occurred against migrants and refugees, whether in shelter centers run by the illegal immigration agency or in detention centers operated and supervised by human traffickers and smugglers. The Libyan authorities deal with a great deal of sensitivity and hostility, because they consider them to lead to… Demographic change in Libya.
Until now, Libya has refused to join the United Nations Migrants Convention.
We at the International Cooperation and Relief Organization and the Mediterranean Center for Studies and Research, which is affiliated with this organization, have made many attempts to demand improvement in the conditions of migrants, because their coming to Libya is temporary, so their real destination is European countries. They are in Libya in order to collect money because Libya is a labor market that can In which he gets money to help him ride the sea!
We in the organization have tried to make efforts to issue recommendations directed to local authorities on the importance of humanitarian cooperation with migrants, because there are violations from the moment of arrest, during investigation, at accommodation, and even at deportation, in addition to the shelter centers, which are centers that lack the most basic humanitarian and international standards.
We organized a series of workshops, under the title of reforming the laws related to immigration and asylum, and a draft law was drafted related to irregular migration and combating the smuggling of migrants, the most important of which is a chapter concerned with protection and respect for their rights at home or abroad, and the draft was handed over on 1/7/2018 to the Libyan authorities. In the Ministry of Justice and in the House of Representatives in Tobruk and Tripoli as well, and the rest of the ministries, and we call on these bodies to consider it and express an opinion by amending or adding to it. We also carried out a field study related to children and women who are in irregular migration.
The international community, through its organizations, and providing its assistance and efforts, is not sufficient to find a real solution to the phenomenon of migration and asylum in Libya, and the international community must pay attention to this matter, and its assistance should be on the first line.
I am surprised by the countries’ focus on providing support to the last front line, which is the coasts, as if he is saying that you can arrest them in your country, and then we may condemn you for mistreatment of these people!
We visited and conducted field research on migrants in local communities. We also carried out unprecedented work in the field of studies through the Mediterranean Center, which includes a group of academics. We focused on the region west of Tripoli to Ras Ijdir and even the interior of the mountain. We surveyed the opinion of Libyans about migration and migrants. What do you think of it? And how to organize it.
Immigration has become a hope and aspiration in the eyes of Libyans of all segments, so that we do not limit the matter to young people. Many young people are turning to immigration via immigration boats, “boats of death,” and upon their arrival to the other shore, specifically in Italy, they are exposed to many violations. We have received many humanitarian appeals. By these young men detained in shelter centers in Italy or Malta, and they explained to us that they are subjected to numerous violations by the authorities in charge of these centers: beatings, torture, reinforcement, insults and insults to their person, their homeland and their religion.
After we collected these appeals from many detained young men or from their families and conveyed them to the competent authorities, especially in the House of Representatives and the Presidential Council, in order to return them, we did not find any response to these calls, and there are those whose families were able to go to them, and they paid exorbitant costs to the lawyers who contributed to their release. On them and return them to Libya.
This is a dangerous migration, because young people leave a big void for us. The number of young people migrating from Libya to Europe, the numbers during this year indicate that there are 400 cases of Libyan youth migration from the beginning of 2020 to this day.
There is another emigration, which is the emigration of the Libyan elites, who have minds and investors. As a result of the current situation of the country, they were forced to leave Libya and invest their money. Doctors, engineers, pilots, left our country, and we are in dire need of them at this time when we are suffering from many problems. There is a feminist emigration as well. Many young women also headed alone to immigrate and left Libya, as a result of the frustration that young people are experiencing. There is family migration, which includes the father, mother, and many children who come to the areas from which the migration boats depart. They share in buying boats to move to the other side. Children without family or supervision migrate and their ages. Under the age of 18, we see them as a danger to our country and our society.
As for the intervention of Professor Amal Al-Hanqari, President of the Amalna Organization, an activist in the field of introducing children’s rights and having published books on that, her intervention was entitled: Children’s Rights in Libya, and this is its summary:
There are many names and the meaning is the same, which is that children have rights. We know through our religion that caring for children is an ancient phenomenon that cannot be linked to contemporary international conventions, and we have a good example in our Noble Messenger: “He is not among us who does not have mercy on our young.” We are commanded to do that.
I would like to emphasize that the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Libya ratified in the 1990s, is comprehensive and includes all rights. There is also a Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in the African Union, which Libya ratified. We ratify and sign, but what about implementation?!
There are many international and local organizations that have contributed and are still contributing to spreading children’s rights and seeking to activate these rights for the benefit of children. The responsibility is collective and necessary.
I would like to talk about four principles that are the true core of these agreements:
1. Non-discrimination of all kinds. 2. The best interests of the child, are they being implemented, and is his opinion taken into account? 3. The right to life, survival, and growth (which includes many matters, including the presence of electricity, his right to study in a prepared atmosphere – our child is deprived in a great way). 4. The right to listen to the child, express himself. The child is now very aware. Our religion gives the child the right to participate and to have his opinion heard.
We have contributed to spreading these rights and making them known, and we have succeeded greatly in it, and there is now a culture for children, but were the advocates of children’s rights and human rights able to achieve their goals? What is the importance and impact of these rights if they are implemented on societies?
Children are not the property of their parents or the state, they are persons and should have an equal view of humanity as everyone else.
The actions of the state and its fulfillment of its duty towards children greatly affect them. The best interest of children must be placed in public policies within the state, because they are the builders of tomorrow. Children’s opinions, aspirations and dreams should be given an opportunity to be heard.
The first victim in war is the child. Where does international humanitarian law stand in terms of children’s rights during conflicts? It is often a negative impact from the impact of globalization, digital technologies, displacement, migration, many transformations, and the entry of the Corona epidemic, which has weighed heavily on children and changed their lives and the course of their rights to a very large extent.
Sometimes we find that vaccinations, environmental pollution, the economic aspect of their families, and the extent of its impact on them, we have hope that there are ten bodies specialized in human rights, because these committees and these experts can put countries before themselves, what have you provided, and what are the things that you have fulfilled.
A message in the name of children: To supporters of international human law: Defending children and not throwing them into adult disputes and exposing them to killing, displacement, displacement, torture, exploitation, and deprivation of education.
A message in the name of children: For artists, creators and inventors, come with us to embrace children’s talents and support their creativity.
A message on behalf of children: To teachers, I hope you pay attention to dramatizing curricula and using theater as a method of expression, participation, and rejecting methods of violence within schools.
A message in the name of children: To businessmen, where do you stand regarding investing in children and supporting their participation? It is a national duty that we hope you will contribute to, by sponsoring children’s creativity competitions.
A message in the name of the children: To the official, to the official, to the official, your children are a trust, preserve it, and provide them with a comfortable life at home, school, club, and street, because they are the future of any country, and I hope that the voice of the child will reach me, for I speak in the voice of the child.
The intervention of Engineer Mohamed Hamouda, Chairman of the Board of Directors of h2o, came about youth and human rights, and this is its summary:
When we talk about youth, we are talking primarily about human beings, and secondly about an age group, the definition of which varies from continent to continent and from region to region. It is difficult to predict who the youth are, because the matter is related to the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. The young person today is in the study stage. He is looking forward to getting a job and is shocked by the reality. He does not find a job opportunity nor suitable conditions. This is a long stage and is followed by many problems. The importance and sensitivity of this stage.
It is necessary for young people to participate in public life, political and civil life. There is injustice against them, through studies, policy issuance, and institutions concerned with youth. There is no interest except in certain areas. Military recruitment or loud slogans, from a practical standpoint, do not exist.
The issue of caring for young people requires participation, but unfortunately the law still prevents young people from participating in a greater and equal extent. When we see laws and regulations, we usually see that young people are excluded, the regulations that regulate the coming process! Exclusion based on a specific group, which is unacceptable from a human rights perspective. We are all confident that there will be no prosperity or progress without the political or economic participation of young people.
The issue of moving towards youth empowerment internationally has great progress in “youth, security and peace”, the largest percentage on the face of the population pyramid (youth). It is a window of opportunity for nations, and if it is not exploited, it will be a curse.
Providing the necessary opportunity for their care, empowerment and rehabilitation, and through my work closely related to youth or youth empowerment, I was a supervisor and advisor. Young people are usually characterized by an optimistic view of the future, despite everything, and it is one of the characteristics of youth. In the last year, their perception of the future has become a dark view, and this is something in Extremely dangerous!
And the intervention of Mr. Ahmed Al-Talhi, Al-Talhi Foundation for Advocacy Works, on “Human Rights in Islam,” and this is its summary:
As a young man, many questions came to my mind. We are all searching for hope and youth, a bloc about youth and hope.
Human rights in Islam. We learned in ancient institutions such as Al-Asmari, Al-Zaytouna, and Al-Qarawiyyin. The student learns how to edit the term in order to solve the problem, for the right is the fixed thing, as God mentioned it in His book.
Is humanity before religiosity or religiosity before humanity? Wherever a person is found, he finds religiosity, and vice versa.
How to protect a child in Islam, and the child’s first right before he appears to the world is his right, as in the book The Forty Nuclear Powers by Imam al-Nawawi on the authority of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, his right when he is four months old from when the soul began to be breathed.
Islam regulates the rights of all people, not just Muslims. It is not permissible for a person to kill another person, because man is God’s successor on earth before he descends to earth!
Why God created us? You find everyone saying: Let us worship Him, and they forgot to mention two other reasons: God Almighty created us to populate this earth, and to purify ourselves. Purification means that I do not lie, that I do not betray, that I guarantee the rights of others, that I love for them what I love for myself.
Among human rights in the hadith: He who deceives is not one of us. A Muslim is he who keeps people safe from his tongue and hand.
Human rights are guaranteed in Islamic law. Human rights in Islam have five basic objectives. All axes are linked to these five.
If we take these goals: preserving the mind, preserving money, preserving honor, preserving the soul, and preserving religion, the human right to freedom, expression, and belief.
Many young people abroad will not be able to return to Libya because they have a problem with one of these five issues, either an issue regarding freedom of belief due to the prevailing religious discourse in this country, problems in education, or equality, an issue of justice in the right to be a citizen, so he began searching for Dignity in another country, class in ownership, and finally in the right to work, given many circumstances, Sharia preserves these things for him.
And the intervention of Professor Idris Ahmed from Sabha about human rights in Libya in the absence of a constitution. All Libyans are marginalized and suffer from the absence of the state.
Intervention by Mr. Mohamed Al-Sharif, Master of Political Science, journalist, member of the Ihsan Organization and Zad Al-Khair Organization, civil activist and head of the Cultural Youth Unity Organization, from Wadan Al-Jufra. Human rights are the rights that cannot be infringed upon. They are deserved and inherent and may not be infringed upon simply because he is a human being. The current human rights conditions can be summed up in the Libyan situation: in the armed conflict, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment, freedom of expression, women’s rights, impunity, migrants.
Intervention by Mr. Hasnaa Al-Mansouri, a student of studies in international law, and a member of the International Organization for the Propagation of International Humanitarian Law: The rules of international humanitarian law in child protection. The problem does not lie in the existence of rules and laws, but rather we need an effective mechanism to implement international agreements, whether from an international or local perspective.