Libya: NPWJ organises a workshop on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Victims’ Rehabilitation

Tripoli, 2 April 2014


 
On 29 March 2014, No Peace Without Justice, in close collaboration with the Libyan Association for Physiological and Spiritual Research, organised a workshop on “Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Victims’ Rehabilitation”, in Tripoli. The workshop is part of NPWJ’s Transitional Justice Program in Libya, which includes a series of activities and workshops to empower local institutions and civil society actors on transitional justice and accountability issues.
 
The workshop was led by Dr Ahmed Mesbah, founder of the Libyan Association for Psychological and Spiritual Research (LAPSR), and Ms Francesca Del Mese, a legal expert in the field of human rights and sexual violence with extensive experience in post-conflict countries. Twenty-five people attended the event, including representatives of local civil society organisations, religious leaders, psychologists, lawyers and students.
 

 
The objective of the workshop was to build capacity, knowledge and expertise within Libyan CSOs on sensitive subjects such as sexual and gender-based violence, especially after Libya has adopted an unprecedented decree aimed at protecting victims of sexual violence. The decree, adopted on 19 February 2014 by the Libyan Minister of Justice, recognises victims of sexual violence perpetrated during the revolution in Libya as victims of war and provides them with access to reparations. Participants stressed the importance of these provisions both to ensure that perpetrators face justice and also to enable victims to rebuild their lives and have their traumatic experience recognised and addressed in the ongoing country’s post-conflict transition. During the discussion, participants elaborated on the role of religion and the community in addressing these issues.
 
At the end of the workshop, participants who attended the event thanked LAPSR and NPWJ for the opportunity it provided for dialogue. They stressed the importance and the necessity for further dialogue on this sensitive issue, in order to break the silence that surrounds rape and other crimes of sexual and gender‑based violence.
 
 
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 smoschini@npwj.org or +218917450375, or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32 2 548 39 15.