Libya: NPWJ supports justice sector reform on sexual violence and juvenile justice

23 Oct, 2013 | Press Releases

Tripoli, 23 October, 2013

In the framework of its Transitional Justice Program in Libya, No Peace Without Justice supported and contributed to a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening the capacity of Libyan national institutions and civil society actors on accountability, human rights and the rule of law, which were held on 20-22 October2013.

On 20-22 October2013, NPWJ held a three-day training for judges and prosecutors from Tripoli, Misrata, Zawia, Khoms and Benghazi on sexual violence, juvenile justice and evidence collection procedures. The training was organised in close collaboration with the High Judicial Institute (HJI) and was delivered by Ms Francesca Del Mese, a legal expert in the field of human rights and sexual violence with extensive experience in post-conflict countries.

The objective of the training was to build capacity, knowledge and expertise within Libya’s judicial and investigative institutions on international standards of law, in particular related to sensitive subjects such as sexual violence and juvenile justice. Judicial reform is fundamental to achieve accountability for crimes committed and building the foundations for national reconciliation in Libya.

Participants were introduced to the concepts of sexual violence and juvenile justice under the framework of a holistic international law-based human rights approach. They discussed different approaches to and definitions of these issues within Libyan society and the Libyan judicial system, highlighting practical examples they had faced within their jurisdictions. The impact of cultural norms and traditions in this sensitive area were assessed and various legal, judicial and social solutions to sexual violence were discussed. Participants developed their capacity to apply practical tools such as referral pathways, evidence collection and evidence evaluation to their daily workload.

On 21 October 2013, NPWJ also organised a colloquium on sexual violence and juvenile justice which involved a wide range of participants, including local civil society organisationslegal students and professionalsmembers of the judiciary, members of the media, as well as representatives of international organisations and foreign embassies. The objective was to create a platform where knowledge, expertise and information on sexual violence could be exchanged and developed by multiple stakeholders. The important role of local civil society organisations was stressed as they can provide a crucial link between victims and the judicial system, and are in a strong position to raise awareness about sexual violence within Libya.

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, or Gianluca Eramo, MENA Program Coordinator, on or +32-2-548-3912.