UN Expert Urges Libya to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Deeply disturbed at the widespread, systematic, and grave levels of violence faced by Libyan women and children, including girls, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has called on Libyan authorities to take urgent action to stop that from happening.

Reem Alsalem, the Jordanian human rights expert working for the UN, has called for an immediate ending to the continuous cycle of rampant violence and mistreatment -compounded by complete impunity for those responsible – and for the protection of the women and girls in the country.

Alsalem stressed in a statement that both femicide and acts of physical, economic, political, and domestic violence against women and girls in the private and public spheres are rife.

The appeal of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Reem Alsalem, follows her eight-day visit to the North African country.

During her stay, Alsalem received numerous reports detailing the treatment that the non-Libyan women and children, including girls, are enduring, describing it as profoundly discriminatory and dehumanizing, as well as horrific levels of sexual violence, abduction for ransom, torture, detention, trafficking, forced labor, and unlawful killings.

Alsalem emphasized that due to the political deadlock, insecurity, instability, governance and rule-of-law challenges, and problematic legal frameworks in Libya – that are not in line with its international human rights obligations – there’s a serious lack of legal retribution for crimes committed against women and girls.

Among the first remedies that Alsalem recommended for this serious issue was ending the impunity and boosting the support for governmental institutions and women’s organizations as well as by economic empowerment and political participation of women.

She underscored that she’ll make the protection of women and girls a priority in all dealings with Libyan authorities, urging them to prioritize legislative reforms, including the adoption of a 2021 Draft Law on violence against women to better tackle the issue.

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