Libya: Mapping of NGOs working on children’s rights

Beginning in May 2019, NPWJ took the initiative, in collaboration with the Association of Children's Rights in Benghazi, to carry out a study aimed at identifying children’s rights organisations and assessing their needs in the field of their interaction with the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms (UNHRMs) with a focus on the rights of the child. The study intended to analyse organizations’ activities and evaluate their knowledge concerning the implementation mechanisms of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and their contribution and capacity to reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The second purpose of this study was to map the capacities of these organisations and to identify their priorities in order to develop a tailored capacity building program.
One hundred and forty-one organisations were reached and 55 NGOs active in the field of human rights, children's rights, women's rights, the rights of persons with disabilities and migration effectively participated in the study. The organisations were based in the following cities: Al Baydha, Benghazi, Beni Walid, Misrata, Sabha, Subrata, Tripoli and Zawiya. The draft of the study was submitted to a group of NGOs for review and comments both in Tripoli and Benghazi and then finalised and made public on 9 September 2019.
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The most important conclusions of the study are as follows:

  • Despite the increasing number of organisations created since 2011, their sustainability and impact on the ground have significantly decreased after 2014 crisis. Many organisations have ceased to exist due mainly to the security situation and armed conflict. Lack of financial resources was also mentioned by some NGOs as an additional reason.
  • CSOs are facing a high number of challenges and obstacles (such as security, fear from prosecutions by armed groups and state authorities).
  • The departure of a large number of international NGOs from Libya since 2014 had a negative impact on the Libyan NGOs.
  • Libyan NGOs lack support from governmental and foreign institutions and they rely exclusively on self- financing.
  • NGOs lack training programs on international human rights mechanisms, reporting on human rights, monitoring of human rights violations and in other areas.
  • NGOs are in need in terms of capacity building, assistance in organising and implementing activities, building trust, internal management, fundraising and in other areas.
  • There is a dangerous and unstable environment due to the absence of a law regulating the work of civil society and the absence of a unified and clear national authority.

According to the study, the most urgent needs to satisfy (with a rate of 85 %) are, in order of importance: (i) capacity building programs in the area of international human rights mechanisms, developing relevant specific skills (i.e. report writing, data collection and documentation, field monitoring and investigating human rights violations); (ii) trainings in the field of advocacy, mobilisation and human rights education; (iii) strategic planning and protection of information; and (iv) internal management of NGOs.