Libya: NPWJ organises capacity-building training for Libyan Human Rights Council

Tripoli, Libya, 9 January 2014


On 6-8 January 2014, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) conducted a series of initiatives in Tripoli aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Libyan National Council for Civil Liberties and Human Rights (the Council) to fulfil its mandate. The Council was established in January 2013 and has been working to monitor human rights across the country since then.  These events were organised in the framework of NPWJ’s Transitional Justice Program in Libya, which aims to empower local institutions and civil society actors on transitional justice and accountability issues.
NPWJ held a three-day training workshop with 15 employees and Human Rights monitors from the Benghazi and Tripoli offices of the Council. The workshop was led by Professor Ray Murphy, an expert on international criminal law and member of the Irish Human Rights Commission, and included a contribution from Mr Walid Kaawan, Executive Director of the Libyan Council. The purpose of the workshop was to build the capacity of the participants to monitor human rights violations more effectively, focusing on specific challenges within the country’s context; to communicate their findings through international human rights mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review; and to raise awareness of their work among the Libyan public and civil society. The importance of working closely with local civil society organisations in order to support the work of the Council was stressed and a number of recommendations were made about how the Council’s monitoring and reporting work could be improved and extended in line with international standards.

On 8 January, NPWJ also convened a colloquium focusing on the role and responsibilities of the Libyan Council in monitoring human rights in detention centres. The event brought together a wide range of actors, providing a platform for discussion and information-sharing between the Council and other actors working on human rights in Libya. More than 30 people attended the event, including representatives from the Council, legal professionals, students, local civil society organisations and international organisations.
Participants highlighted the limited awareness of human rights within Libyan society and State institutions, the importance of seeking accountability for human rights abuses in order to support transitional justice and the need for collaboration and communication between human rights activists in Libya, as well as in the international community. These colloquiums, which NPWJ has organised regularly since the launch of the Libya program, provide an occasion to generate constructive discussion within civil society and the legal community, raising awareness and increasing knowledge on transitional justice related issue in Libya in the aftermath of the Gaddafi regime.
NPWJ in Libya
NPWJ has been working on the Libyan transition since early 2011, in the framework of its project to support Libya’s democratic transition through justice and accountability. As the country embarks on legislative reforms, the Libyan authorities can break with the legacy of impunity and abuses that typified Gaddafi’s rule with a new respect for the rule of law and a commitment to restoring justice and dignity to victims. Doing so requires not only the investigation and prosecution of the crimes and violence perpetrated during the revolution, but also efforts to confront a history of oppression and human rights abuses that dates back decades under the rule of the former regime. 
For further information on the activities of NPWJ in Libya please contact Stefano Moschini, Libya Program Coordinator, at or +218917450375.