dcsimg


Header image for news printout

يناقش المجلس حالة حقوق الإنسان في هايتي وفي ليبيا في إطار بنده المتعلق بالمساعدة التقنية وبناء القدرات

Human Rights Council
AFTERNOON

21 March 2017

The Human Rights Council this afternoon held an interactive dialogue with Gustavo Gallon, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, after hearing the presentation of his report.  The Council also held an interactive dialogue with Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, after she presented the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Libya.

Presenting his report, Mr. Galon said that Haiti had just come out of a serious electoral crisis but continued to face a painful human rights situation that deserved to be monitored and accompanied by the international community.  Progress was needed in areas of illiteracy, in addressing and combatting impunity, including through the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and in improving the living conditions of people displaced by natural disasters.  Haiti had decided to establish a Ministry of Human Rights and to strengthen the Inter-ministerial Council for Human Rights, but the decision not to renew the mandate risked eliminating the efforts of the international community for the past 29 years.

Haiti, speaking as the concerned country, outlined the steps taken to address high levels of illiteracy, including the campaign which had seen the establishment of several thousand illiteracy centres throughout the country.  A commission to investigate the causes of long duration of pre-trial detention and causes of death in prisons had been set up and the plan for capacity building of the internal inspection unit had been drawn up as a measure to address impunity among the national police.

In the ensuing dialogue, delegates noted with regret the decision of Haiti not to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert, and welcomed the decision to establish a Ministry for Human Rights as soon as possible.  Expressing their satisfaction with the success of the electoral process, they stressed that the priority now was the establishment of the rule of law and strengthening of institutions to meet the needs of the people.  Concerns were raised about lengthy preventive detention and forced labour of detainees, persistent and profound inequalities in the country, and living conditions of those affected by disasters.

European Union, El Salvador on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, France, Cuba, United Kingdom, Peru, Chile, United States, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela spoke in the interactive discussion.

Also speaking were the following non-governmental organizations: Franciscans International, Advocates for Human Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Human Rights Watch.

The Council then held an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Libya, after hearing Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore present the report of the High Commissioner.

Ms. Gilmore said that the proliferation of armed groups throughout the country had led to a situation in which human rights violations and abuses were rampant.  There were numerous and consistent reports of migrant women being subjected to sexual violence whilst detained, including in official detention centres, while conditions in detention facilities, where migrants were held arbitrarily for indefinite periods, were inhumane.  Libya should end the practice of arbitrarily detaining migrants and the European Union should ensure that its training and support to the Libyan Coast Guard was undertaken through comprehensive efforts to protect the rights of migrants.  At present, migrants intercepted by the Coast Guard were usually transported to detention centres where they were exposed to abuses.  Ms. Gilmore welcomed the prioritization of the situation in Libya by the International Criminal Court and urged the Government to establish a professional army, police and other security forces through fair and transparent vetting, to prioritize demobilization and implement the rule of law provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement.

Libya, speaking as the concerned country, said that the current political crisis required efforts to end the proliferation of weapons and non-State armed groups, and underlined that disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and tracking terrorist groups, were crucial for achieving human rights.  Holding perpetrators accountable was a top priority, and it was important to promote law enforcement, a transparent judicial system and a transition to democracy.  Libya was a transit country for an enormous number of migrants, with organized crime groups perpetrating human rights violations against migrants.  There was a need for shared responsibility in addressing the problem.

In the interactive dialogue, speakers said that the lack of a solution to the conflict and the failure to implement the Political Agreement had led to the deterioration of the situation of human rights in Libya, noting that renewed fighting would endanger civilians and benefit ISIS and other violent extremists.  They were very concerned about indiscriminate attacks against civilians, arbitrary detention, the use of indefinite pre-trial detention, torture and ill-treatment, violence against women, violence against human rights defenders, as well as about the fact that Libya criminalized irregular migrants and lacked an asylum determination system.  Justice and accountability had to be made an integral part of the ongoing political discourse, and a dedicated mechanism on Libya was needed.  The only solution to the situation in Libya was a political one; in this sense, the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement was the best way to steer the country back to stability.  Speakers urged the National Assembly to expedite the adoption of new Constitution and urged the international community to continue to support the legitimate State institutions in dealing with current security challenges.    
Participating in the discussion were the European Union, Tunisia on behalf of the African Group, Iraq on behalf of the Arab Group, Greece, Germany, United Kingdom, Egypt, Italy, Algeria, Netherlands, Morocco, Order of Malta, United States, Portugal, Bahrain, Estonia, Turkey, Iraq, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Sovereign Order of Malta, Mali, Spain, Togo, Qatar, Ghana and France.

The following non-governmental organizations also took the floor: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Centre Independent de Recherches et d’Initiatives pour le Dialogue, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme.

The Council will meet on Wednesday, 22 March at 9 a.m., to hold separate interactive dialogues on the situation of human rights in Ukraine and in Guinea under its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building.

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti

Documentation

The Council has before it the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti(A/HRC/34/73). 

Presentation by the Independent Expert on Haiti

GUSTAVO GALLON, Independent Expert on the situation of the human rights in Haiti, said Haiti had just come out of a serious electoral crisis but continued to face a painful human rights situation that deserved to be monitored and accompanied by the international community.  The crisis was due to the former President Martelly, who had pushed back the elections several times during the four first years of his mandate, between 2011 and 2015.  He had thus found himself without a parliament all throughout 2015.  Parliamentary elections had been organised in August and October 2015, as well as the first round of presidential elections.  The protests against the irregularities of these events had prevented the holding of a second round of elections.  President Martelly had been forced to cede power, at the end of his constitutional mandate in February 2017, to a provisional executive, presided by Mr. Privert, who was then President of the Senate.  The first round of presidential elections had been annulled following the denounced irregularities.  New elections had been held in November 2016, after Hurricane Mathew.  Transparency, professionalism and the organisation of the Provisional Electoral Council had given the results of these elections the necessary credibility to allow for the inauguration of a new presidential period in a democratic and civilized manner, in spite of the low voter turnout of 21 per cent.  Mr. Jovenel Moise had been declared elected during the first round of elections, with 55.5 per cent of the votes.

One woman had been elected to the Senate, and three women had been elected to the Chamber of Deputies.  The Provisional Electoral Council had ensured that the 30 per cent quota was respected.  All this showed that Haiti could make progress on institutional challenges.  This was also the case with extended pre-trial conditions.  If the situation of detainees was settled there would be no prison overcrowding.  In 2015 the Government had appointed a commission to this effect.  In 2016, 184 women detainees had been released. This was another example of possibilities to make progress when there was political will. The same could not be said, however, for the recommendations on illiteracy, impunity and victims of factors other than the Haitian State.  There were no efforts in this respect.  In terms of impunity, the trial which had begun against Jean-Claude Duvalier had not been continued following his death, even though this had to continue against his family.  No efforts had been done to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the victims of the past 60 years.  The 50,000 victims, displaced by the earthquake in 2010, were still homeless and victims of other third factors still awaited the Government to undertake measures.  The rights of over 2,000 individuals of Haitian origin who had been expelled to the Dominican Republic were still not satisfied.  Finally, the recommendation to create a Truth, Justice and Reparations Commission for the victims of cholera had still not been implemented.  Mr. Gallon urged the implementation of the recommendations in this regard. 

The response by the Government to these recommendations had been to not renew the mandate of the Expert and to establish a Ministry of Human Rights and to strengthen the Inter-ministerial Council for Human Rights.  Mr. Gallon had been assured that this initiative was not the result of the Government’s considerations regarding the Independent Expert, but rather an effort to have a new human rights policy.  He was concerned, however, that the initiative was not consistent, as in the list of Ministries there had been no mention of a Ministry for Human Rights.  The international community had put in place many efforts in the past 29 years to help Haiti, and these should not be eliminated overnight.  For all of these reasons, he proposed to the Haitian authorities and to the Human Rights Council to consider renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert for one more year, in order to support Haiti to implement the recommendations and to provide Haiti with best practices.

Statement by the Concerned Country

Haiti, speaking as the concerned country, expressed satisfaction with the work of the Independent Expert and, responding to his comments addressed to the Government, said that Haiti had started a campaign in 2014 which had seen the setting up of several thousand illiteracy centres in the country.  Haiti had also taken steps to improve the situation in detention, including training of judges and setting up a commission to investigate the causes of long duration of pre-trial detention and also the causes of death in prisons.  Measures were being taken to address impunity by national police officers, including by drawing up the plan for capacity building of the internal inspection unit.  During the 2013-2016 period, several thousand housing units had been built to improve access to adequate housing for people living in camps following the devastating 2010 earthquake.  The Government would strengthen the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights, as recommended by the Independent Expert.

Interactive Dialogue

European Union expressed regret about the new Haitian Government’s refusal to renew the Independent Expert’s mandate, and said the reconstruction of the country could only happen if those responsible for abuses were tried.  The Independent Expert was asked what international mechanisms he deemed desirable to bring about greater international cooperation on human rights and the rule of law in Haiti.  El Salvador, speaking on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, spoke about the outcomes of a meeting on Haiti and noted that procedures improving coordination and dialogue at all levels had been agreed.  Haiti’s cooperation with treaty bodies was noted. 

France encouraged Haiti to continue its reforms as well as its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the situation in a number of areas remained a matter of concern, however.  France encouraged Haiti to make use of technical assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner.  Cuba thanked the Independent Expert for the presentation of his report, and reiterated that the international community should not neglect Haiti.  Cuba’s doctors had been helping the Haitian people for many years, and Cuba reiterated its appeal for the international community to honour its commitments. 

United Kingdom said human rights in Haiti were complex and challenging, social inequality persisted and was at the heart of that challenge, and poverty and illiteracy meant that many Haitians were unaware of their rights and disenfranchised from demanding them.  This created a myriad of problems, particularly around the rights of women, children and minorities.  Peru believed that strengthening democratic institutions and implementing the recommendations of the 2016 report were both important.  It congratulated Haiti on the election of a new Government and asked the Independent Expert why he believed that the Government had ended his mandate.

Chile urged the implementation of the recommendations received by the United Nations human rights mechanisms.  Haitians were still facing challenges in the political situation.  Chile urged the Government of Haiti to take all measures necessary to implement the recommendations.  United States congratulated Haiti on its democratic presidential election and the peaceful transition of power following the extended electoral period.  Haiti could improve transparency by committing to serious budget reforms, implementing modern accounting systems, and prosecuting corruption cases.

Spain fully shared the Independent Expert’s emphasis on the need for structural changes in order to effectively promote and protect human rights, and stressed that the priority was to establish the rule of law and strengthen institutions to meet the needs of the people.  Which measures were a priority to prevent future humanitarian crises in Haiti?  Belgium welcomed the progress made, in particular the success of the electoral process, the ratification of several international instruments, and the adoption of the law on the integration of persons with disabilities.  Belgium was concerned about persistent and profound inequalities in the country, and the lengthy preventive detention and forced labour of detainees.  Mexico noted the decision of Haiti not to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert, and the intention to seek other forms of cooperation with the United Nations in the area of human rights, and recognized the commitment to strengthen the inter-ministerial committee on human rights. 

Brazil commended the open and transparent manner in which the Independent Expert had implemented his mandate and praised the commitment of Haiti to continue its full cooperation with the United Nations human rights system and to establish a Ministry of Human Rights as soon as possible.  Venezuela said it had contributed to implementing humanitarian programmes in Haiti, also forgiving debts to the country, and regularly providing food and medicines to Haiti.

Franciscans International said the situation in Haiti’s prisons was critical due to overcrowding, asking which measures the Independent Expert recommended to immediately improve the situation.  Advocates for Human Rights appreciated the attention drawn by the Independent Expert to the high number of children who were not enrolled in or did not finish high school.  There was an urgent need to repeal discriminatory provisions against women, including those in the Criminal and Civil Codes, and ensure women’s equality. 

International Association of Democratic Lawyers thanked the Independent Expert for the continued attention to the need for the United Nations to honour cholera victims’ right to an effective remedy, and urged the Council to provide leadership and technical expertise to ensure that the material assistance package promised by the Secretary-General was developed and implemented consistently with cholera victims’ right to an effective remedy, including the right to compensation.  Human Rights Watch welcomed the strong focus on economic, social and cultural rights in the Independent Expert’s report.  It regretted that the Haitian Government wanted to end the Independent Expert’s mandate.  While it recognized the new Government’s wish to explore different approaches to technical assistance, there were alternatives to such an abrupt and non-consultative termination.
 
Concluding Remarks

GUSTAVO GALLON, Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, appreciated the statements of many delegations and their support for his mandate.  The activities of his mandate had been taken to improve the situation of people in Haiti.  Efforts needed to be made to relieve the situation of persons in detention.  As for the mechanisms to ensure follow-up and implementation of recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review of Haiti, Mr. Gallon explained that there had to be international monitoring through Special Procedures and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The mechanism of an Independent Expert was able to function when there was genuine will of Governments to cooperate.  The proposal to abolish the mandate of the Independent Expert for Haiti was not coherent because there was a recognition of serious human rights violations in Haiti.  In 2015 cooperation in the field of human rights became very difficult and there was no mechanism for a conduit to the Haitian Government.  This highlighted the need for an overarching authority to oversee human rights cooperation with the Government.   As for the explanation of the Haitian Government’s decision to seek the end of the mandate of the Independent Expert, various observers in Haiti had said that the President had very little experience in managing administration.  There was also a lack of understanding of the importance of the mandate. 

In 1995 a recommendation was made to address the crimes committed from the 1960s onwards.  The commission to address those crimes had not been established due to many factors, notably that such a commission would awaken old demons.  The Haitian society was tremendously polarized and lacked the necessary trust to address past crimes.  The commission could heal the society and build trust.  Mr. Gallon called on those opposed to the creation of such a commission to withdraw their opposition.  As for the rights of women and girls, there was a great desire to make progress, but also a lack of comprehensive planning.   There should be a specific policy on the rights of women and girls.  Concerning some 8,000 persons in detention, the Government could grant them the right to expedited hearings.  Unfortunately, additional measures had not been implemented appropriately.  As for the victims of natural disasters, Mr. Gallon said that deforestation was extremely extensive and the Government lacked policies to address that problem.  It should be a priority to consider the situation of environmental catastrophes in order to enable the population to better face natural disasters.  Questions about corruption were very complex and the Independent Expert’s recommendations focused on less complicated issues linked to the judiciary.   

Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the High Commissioner on the Situation of Human Rights in Libya

Documentation

The Council has before it the report of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Libya(A/HRC/34/42). 

Presentation of the Report of the High Commissioner

KATE GILMORE, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, updated the Council on the situation of human rights in Libya and introduced, on behalf of the High Commissioner, a report prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 31/27.  The human rights situation in Libya had not improved since the last update in September 2016, and many attacks injuring civilians reflected a lack of regard for avoiding or minimising casualties among them.  Civilian objects such as hospitals were not spared.  The proliferation of armed groups throughout the country had led to a situation in which human rights violations and abuses were rampant.  Violence and discrimination against women, in particular by armed groups, had also been reported. 

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) continued to receive numerous and consistent reports suggesting a pattern of migrant women being subjected to sexual violence whilst detained, including in official detention centres.  Migrants were further held arbitrarily for indefinite periods, and there were inhumane conditions in detention facilities.  The situation of 200 women and child migrants captured by fighters pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in Sirte was also of concern; they had managed to escape but many of them were now being held in prison in substandard conditions.  The Government of Libya was urged to end the practice of arbitrarily detaining migrants, and the European Union was urged to ensure that its training and support to the Libyan Coast Guard was undertaken through comprehensive efforts to protect the rights of migrants.  At present, migrants intercepted by the Coast Guard were usually transported to detention centres where they were exposed to abuses. 

The establishment of a focal point for human rights and rule of law issues within the Presidency Council would facilitate the work of the human rights division of UNSMIL.  The power, reach and influence of unaccountable armed groups in Libya was frightening and their actions negated the impact of measures aimed at supporting Libya.  The statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that Libya was a priority was welcomed.  It was imperative that the Government moved toward the establishment of a professional army and police and other security forces through fair and transparent vetting, and that it prioritized demobilization and implemented the rule of law provisions of the Libyan Political Agreement

Statement by the Concerned Country
 
Libya, speaking as the concerned country, appreciated the efforts of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The difficult situation faced by Libya continued to pose challenges in the implementation of human rights.  The current political crisis required efforts to end the proliferation of weapons and non-State armed groups.  Setting up of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme and tracking terrorist groups were crucial for achieving human rights.  Holding perpetrators accountable was a top priority of the Government.  It was important to promote law enforcement, a transparent judicial system and a transition to democracy.  Training for officers was part of that process.  The Government reiterated the invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and stressed the need for international support to achieve durable stability.  Libya was a transit country for an enormous number of migrants and that represented a huge burden for the Government.  Organized crime groups perpetrated human rights violations against migrants.  It was important to bear shared responsibility to address that problem. 

Interactive Dialogue

European Union said the European Union was committed to assisting the Government and people of Libya in cooperation with other key actors such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.  The Deputy High Commissioner was asked where efforts would be prioritized on Libya over the next year and how the Office would continue to work with partners to ensure accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.  Tunisia, speaking on behalf of the African Group, said there was organized crime across borders which could only be addressed through international cooperation, and called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to provide technical assistance to the Government of Libya.  Iraq, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, expressed support for Libya as it faced challenges in the area of human rights and security, noting that there were trans-border criminal groups engaging in human trafficking in the framework of illegal migration.  It was important to support the legitimate State institutions and deal with current security challenges. 

Greece said that as a country in Libya’s immediate neighbourhood, Greece paid particular attention to Libya’s stability and supported the efforts of the Government of National Accord towards restoring peace and security; Greece was contributing to the training of the Libyan Coast Guard and navy.  Germany emphasized its support for the Presidency Council and the Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate Government of Libya, and expressed deep concern about the continued attacks against women, children, migrants, journalists, and human rights defenders.  The Deputy High Commissioner was asked how Germany could contribute to ensuring that the crossroads Libya was at did not turn into an impasse.  United Kingdom expressed concern at continuing human rights violations committed across Libya and called on all parties to resolve their differences under the Libyan Political Agreement framework.  The Deputy High Commissioner was asked how the international community could support efforts to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses in Libya.

Egypt stated that Libya was at a critical juncture, with terrorist groups having a deplorable effect on human rights.  The people of Libya had clearly expressed their support for a democratic society rather than a dogmatic one.  Support for some militias was dangerous and it was crucial for the Council to continue providing support to Libya.  Italy noted that the Skhirat agreement was the legitimate framework in which to find concrete solutions for the concrete issues in Libya.  Italy strongly supported Libya in its efforts to manage migratory flows and to combat human trafficking.  Algeria stressed that the resolution of the crisis in Libya required international solidarity.  Setting up strong governance was necessary and the international community should support the central role of the United Nations in that process, in line with the principle of non-interference. 

Netherlands voiced concern over continued reports of human rights violations, noting that the current political situation made it difficult to have a functioning judicial system and to hold perpetrators accountable.  Special attention needed to be paid to safeguards the rights of human rights defenders, journalists, women, children, refugees and migrants.  Morocco welcomed the renewed commitment of Libya to promote human rights, and took into account the numerous challenges faced by the Government.  It recalled the need to increase technical assistance and capacity building to Libya in order to ensure stability and peace. 

Sovereign Order of Malta was alarmed about the reception faced by migrants, including women and children, at their arrival in Libya, and said that Malta was providing medical training to Libyan instructors in search and rescue at sea, and was considering further training of authorities in management control of migration flows, and in effective action to weaken criminal networks feeding on the trafficking of migrants.  United States stood behind the Libyan people in maintaining a unified Libya that delivered responsive and inclusive governance and ensured that the rights of all Libyans were respected.  The United States remained concerned by the ongoing risk of armed conflict as renewed fighting would endanger civilians and would only benefit ISIS and other violent extremists.  Portugal believed that the only solution to the situation in Libya was a political solution anchored in a solid commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and in this sense, the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement was the best way to steer the country back to stability.  Portugal was concerned about the criminalization of irregular migrants and the lack of an asylum determination system.

Bahrain said that terrorism was a threat to the region, from which Libya had not escaped.  Synergies must be used to tackle challenges and meet the expectation of the Libyan people to live in a peaceful and stable country with effective institutions.  Estonia was concerned about the human rights crisis in Libya and the situation which, despite the formation of the Government of National Accord in December 2015, had not improved.  Estonia stressed the need for accountability for human rights violations and welcomed the announcement by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that Libya would be the priority in 2017.  Turkey regretted that various parties continued to create obstacles to the stabilization of Libya by the Presidency Council and remained worried by the continued armed conflict and escalation of violence, including in Tripoli.  It was of concern that various actors continued to target their political opponents under the disguise of “fighting terrorism” with total impunity.
 
Iraq said it supported the efforts of Libya to achieve security and stability, and to establish State authority over the entire territory, especially in those areas controlled by the Islamic State.  Iraq supported the transition to peace in Libya.  An emergency humanitarian plan should be agreed for Libya.  Sudan commended the Libyan Government’s efforts to promote and protect human rights despite significant challenges posed by terrorist groups and trans-border crime.  It reiterated the importance of bolstering technical assistance and capacity building for Libya.  United Arab Emirates noted positively the progress in human rights in Libya despite the current challenges.  Help for the humanitarian situation in certain parts of the country was still needed and the United Arab Emirates had contributed accordingly. 

Tunisia attached great importance to the situation in Libya because there was a security connection between the two countries.  An appropriate climate had to be created for a successful national dialogue in the country.  The international community had to honour its commitments to Libya.  Malta said it was committed to continue to offer its services to facilitate dialogue between and among the parties involved in Libya.  It was critical to extend to the United Nations-recognized Government all the possible collaboration to achieve a genuine power-sharing agreement.  Mali reiterated its support for the territorial integrity of Libya and the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement.  The situation of human rights in Libya continued to be worrying and recurrent acts of terrorism had resulted in massive loss of life.  The human drama of migrants crossing the Mediterranean was of particular concern. 

Spain that the lack of a solution to the conflict and the failure to implement the Political Agreement had led to the deterioration of human rights in Libya.  Spain was particularly concerned about indiscriminate attacks against civilians, arbitrary detention, the use of indefinite pre-trial detention, torture and ill-treatment, violence against women and violence against human rights defenders.  Togo was alarmed by information that despite Government efforts, the security situation was very fragile, with dozens of armed groups taking over control of parts of Libya.  Special attention must be given to the situation of migrants.  Qatar insisted on the importance of the support to Libya by the United Nations system and urged the Government to pursue its commitment under the Political Agreement.  The international community should provide further support to Libya to overcome the crisis and rebuild the country.

Ghana urged Libya’s National Assembly to expedite the process of the adoption of a new Constitution and was concerned about human rights violations by some armed groups which had derailed the political process in the country and hindered the establishment of the rule of law.  France said the efforts of Libyan parties to implement the Peace Agreement should be supported and stressed the cooperation of Libya with the International Criminal Court to ensure accountability for human rights violations in the absence of an effective national justice system.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom said that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Libya, especially aerial bombardment, continued to take a huge toll.  All States were urged to immediately cease the transfer of weapons to warring parties in Libya and called on the Human Rights Council to support that call.  Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies highlighted the continued inability of the Libyan national justice system to ensure accountability for ongoing human rights violations and abuses in the country.  The resolution on Libya had to ensure an investigative role for the United Nations that monitored human rights violations and abuses.  Human Rights Watch said that armed groups on all sides of the conflict had attacked civilians and civilian property, and had tortured, unlawfully killed, disappeared and forcefully displaced people.  Justice and accountability had to be made an integral part of the ongoing political discourse; a dedicated mechanism on Libya was needed. 

Amnesty International stressed that a greater effort had to be made by States supporting the Government of National Accord, as well as the rival Houses of Representatives, to address the alarming level of violations.  The Council was urged to consider the creation of an Independent Expert on Libya.  Centre Independent de Recherches et d’Initiatives pour le Dialogue said that the first step towards State building was a national consensus which would cover respect of human rights, amongst other issues.  Youth needed to be involved in deciding on the future of the country.  All parties to the conflict should refrain from holding civilians in detention.  Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme opined that Libyan oil, and the trafficking of arms, drugs and migrants represented the main sources of the current crisis.  All parties to the conflict were called on to cease fire and prioritize dialogue for the national interest.  Libya should not be an open cemetery for migrants.

Concluding Remarks
 
KATE GILMORE, Deputy High Commissioner for human rights, said the overall framework of issues which had emerged thanks to the interaction on the report included the suffering of the people of Libya and the price they were paying for the circumstances in which impunity was almost singularly unchallenged and numerous armed groups were unchecked, creating a reign of terror.  She thanked the Government of Libya for its cooperation, but stressed that without the partnership between Libya and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, then the holistic multi-stakeholder approach that Libya called for would not be possible.  A few key issues had been highlighted, the first of which was that the future of Libya depended on justice and human rights in the context of demobilization, disarmament and reintegration.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights would focus on justice in the process going forward as well as focus on the rule of law and capacity-building.  Turning to specific questions, she said in response to the European Union that armed groups were the ones who were creating the chaos in the country.  She urged the Government to give priority to the establishment of a professional army and police.  Germany and other delegations had spoken of Libya being at a crossroads; today there was nothing giving people the assurance that the rule of law could protect them.  In such a climate of deep impunity, the commitment of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court was welcomed.

Turning to the issue of transitional justice, Ms. Gilmore noted that concrete steps were yet to be taken.  She underscored the importance of a due diligence framework to support the security forces.  Practical assistance to Libyan human rights defenders was also of importance, as civil society space was crucial to building Libya.  A programme of medical support to victims of human rights abuses was also important.  The right to non-refoulement was essential.  In response to a question on the role of Special Procedures, she said a number of them, including the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, had intended to visit the country, but security circumstances had made that difficult.  She highlighted concerns about the situation of migrants, noting that the detention of migrants was unacceptable.  There should be revisions to the Libyan constitution to clarify the situation around migrants.  
  
 __________

For use of the information media; not an official record

Follow UNIS Geneva on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |Flickr