Libya: Civil Society House (CSH)

Civil Society House (CSH) is the creation and maintenance of a physical space, which is the NPWJ premises in Tripoli, where civil society and other stakeholders can physically work together and exchange ideas and knowledge about human rights and humanitarian principles; meet in a “neutral” zone; build their capacities to work effectively, including through receiving support to organise activities and to develop their project management capacities; to work with others to develop common advocacy platforms and campaigns; and to benefit from the expertise of national and international actors. CSH is intended to create a welcoming space within which joint work can be carried out, managed in close cooperation with Libyan stakeholders, to meet shared objectives. It contributes to self-organisation and coalition- building, by providing partners with opportunities for daily coaching and free space within which civil society organisations can organise activities and develop their organisational skills.
In 2019, NPWJ opened its country office to all Libyan human rights NGOs. Training activities and coordination meetings of the Libyan Coalition for the Rights of the Child, created by a group of organisations who benefited from a series of training workshops organized by NPWJ, are taking place there.
In the context of Civil Society House, NPWJ provides pro bono experts to support Libyan human rights advocates and NGOs in their self- organisation, coalition- building, advocacy and campaigning on participatory governance and human rights. Mentors support Libyan civil society in the development and preparation of initiatives including advocacy missions and campaigns with Libyan and international human rights actors, including the UN Human Rights Council, the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other mechanisms.
The following activities were conducted in Civil Society House in Tripoli in 2019-2020:
Training on the reinforcement of CSOs work (9 - 11 November 2019)
In cooperation with the Libyan Youth Centre, the National Organization for the Support and Empowerment of Youth and the Consultative Centre for Human Rights, NPWJ organised and implemented a three-day training workshop on the legal status and functions of NGOs in Libya.
Prior to the workshop, a questionnaire was tailored to collect and analyse information of potential candidates to the training. One hundred and four persons (NGOs and individuals) expressed an interest in attending. Twenty-five participants (including twelve women) from 14 NGOs were selected based on pre-established criteria (such as personal interest, field of work of the NGO and level of knowledge). Gender equality and geographical balance were also taken into consideration (12 women participating). Priority was given to participants coming from organisations that have no management experience while having effective work on the ground. The modules of this training were designed to enhance the capacities of these organisations on daily management, self- organisation, fundraising and digital security.
The specific objectives of this training were tailored to:

  • Providing participants with the skills to create and establish a civil society organisation in Libya, including legal procedures, institutional steps and team spirit.
  • Providing participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to look for grants and apply for funding opportunities.
  • Providing basic notions on human resources and budget management.
  • Providing the necessary knowledge and skills to protect their electronic information and devices from interference.
  • Providing the knowledge and skills necessary to manage and classify their organisation's archives and reports.

Workshop on Theory of Change for local Libyan NGOs (19-23 of January 2020), 21 participants (Tripoli)
Throughout five days, 21 activists (including 14 women) representing eight Libyan human rights organisations received training on the Theory of Change (ToC) methodology. The selection was made on the basis of the level of organisation and administrative management of the NGO and the availability of the participant. Training objectives were: (i) Understanding the process of formulating ToC; (ii) Using ToC to design a strategic plan for an organisation; (iii) Knowing how to execute and evaluate ToC; and (iv) Tips on conducting ToC workshops.
Celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
In the framework of the celebration of World Children’s Day, NPWJ hosted and facilitated several meetings at its Civil Society House with a group of Libyan human rights organisations working on child rights. The objective was to launch an initiative to commemorate World Children’s Day, which occurs on 20 November each year. The number of the organisations volunteering for this event grew from initially five to 20 organisations coming from various Libyan cities. A preparatory committee was established to ensure coordination between all actors, to agree on a series of commemorative events and to plan and implement the agreed activities. The Civil Society Commission (a public institution) was involved as the official sponsor of this event.
World Children’s Day was celebrated through the following activities and events:
- 18/11/2019 - Media campaign
A group of participating organisations representatives appeared on TV channels and radios to speak about the World Children’s Day and the Libyan context (the situation of children in Libya (education, health, impact of the war, type of violations against children including migrants, IDPs and refugees…).
- 19/11/2019 – Special activities on the Rights of the Child
Each organization carried out a special activity for children on 20 November and made them aware of their rights and how to protect themselves from any violations they might be exposed to. During this campaign, more than 100 children from different regions were targeted. NPWJ, in cooperation with the Tawergha Families and Missing Organization, and the Libyan Youth Centre, implemented an activity with a group of school children inside the Tawergha camp school. About 60 children (boys and girls) took part in the event, as this activity relied on educating children about their rights and protecting them from violations, harassment and violence.
- 20 /11 /2019 “Celebration ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”
The various events culminated on 20 November with a symposium organised in Tripoli where more than 150 people including high level officials from various government agencies and non-governmental organisations and representatives of international organizations including UNICEF attended the event.
- Workshop on monitoring and reporting on human rights, 7 -9 July 2020 (Tripoli)
After the official announcement of the establishment of the Libyan Network for the Protection of Children’s Rights, a 3-day training workshop on monitoring, documentation and reporting on human rights violations, including the MRM, was organised for the members of the Network. The objective of the workshop was to increase the efficiency of the monitoring and documentation experience of the Libyan Network for the Protection of Child Rights constitutive members and to strengthen their skills and knowledge in this sensitive field, in particular in a war context. The workshop was facilitated by Ms Rima Abdel Salam, a former beneficiary of NPWJ’s training program; Mr Frej Fenniche, Director of NPWJ in Libya and Dr Haykal Ben Mahfoudh, Professor in International Humanitarian Law at Tunis University and Director of the  Research Center on Relations between Europe and the Maghreb, and  candidate for membership of the International Criminal Court, with Mr Ben Mahfoud making an online presentation on international humanitarian law and the scope of its application in Libya in the context of the on-going armed conflict.