Libya’s Youth Make Their Voices Heard on Transitional Justice

Tripoli, Libya, 17 March 2013

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Libyan Youth Union, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Libya, have successfully concluded a two-day training event on transitional justice titled “Transitional Justice: The Voice of Libya Youth” from 16-17 March 2013 in Tripoli. The event forms the latest part of NPWJ’s ongoing transitional justice program in Libya “Supporting Libya’s Democratic Transition Through Justice and Accountability.”
“Transitional justice is an important issue to Libya’s young men and women, and a country’s youth have a crucial role to play in sustaining the political will and public engagement necessary for a successful transitional justice process”, said Stefano Moschini, NPWJ’s Libya Project Coordinator. The event gathered 35 participants aged between 18 and 25 for two days of discussion. Participants, half of whom were men and half of whom were women, came from across Libya and represented the full diversity of Libya’s communities and expectations of transitional justice.
The event was opened with enthusiastic words of encouragement and support from Awad Oun, Deputy Minister for Youth and Sport,  Bashir Alhosh, Head of the GNC’s Council for Youth and Sport, H.E. Antony Lansink, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Libya, and Abdul Nasser Alamari (Libyan Youth Union) and  Stefano Moschini (NPWJ) on behalf of the organisers. All warmly welcomed this initiative and stressed the importance of engaging Libya’s youth in the process of transitional justice.

The first day of discussions focused on introducing the concept of transitional justice and the variety of forms such processes can take. International experts with first-hand experience of implementing transitional justice in their own countries shared often-deeply personal stories of their own experiences as youth in transitional societies such as Argentina, Kosovo, and Italy. These discussions were followed by presentations by Marieke Wierda, UNSMIL’s Transitional Justice Officer in Libya, and several Libyan human rights organisations, whom provided an overview of the transitional justice work that is already ongoing in Libya.
After a day of discussions and debate, the second day aimed to give participants hands-on experience of the often complex and difficult decision-making of transitional justice. Leon Schettler, Humanity in Action, led participants through a simulated role-playing exercise that cast participants as negotiators representing a variety of positions on a fictional and invented transitional justice case. The exercise was received with great enthusiasm from all participants, and offered a unique insight into the practice and challenges of transitional justice design and implementation.
Libya’s youth played a central part in their country’s successful revolution, and are now showing the same determination to form an important part of its democratic future. Transitional justice is a key step to securing this democratic future, and events such as this will continue to ensure that the voices of Libya’s youth are heard as the process continues to develop in their country.

For further information on the activities of NPWJ in Libya please contact Stefano Moschini, Libya Program Coordinator, at / +281917450375; or Halla Al Mansouri, NPWJ’s Legal Program Officer in Libya, at / +281919955359.
Further information is also available on NPWJ’s webpage on its Transitional Justice Program in Libya.