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Libya: urgent call for the protection of foreign citizens and minority groups – UN expert body on discrimination

GENEVA (2 March 2011) – The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called on the international community and the UN system to seek urgent measures to protect non-citizens, migrant populations, migrant workers, refugees and other minority groups in Libya.

In a statement* issued this week under its early warning and urgent action procedure, the UN expert body appealed directly for action to “the UN Secretary-General, in collaboration with competent bodies, in particular, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and regional organizations.”

The Committee, which is currently in session in Geneva, is alarmed by the violent clashes taking place in Libya, and their impact on the situation of foreign citizens and other minority groups living in the country.

The UN group of independent experts drew attention to the excessive use of force against the civilian population in Libya and acts of violence against foreigners, as well as the reported exodus of populations from neighbouring countries.

(*) Statement by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Early-Warning Measures and Urgent Procedures:

Learn more about the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/cerd/pages/cerdindex.htm

The Committee’s members: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/members.htm

Check the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cerd.htm

OHCHR Country page – Libya: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/LYIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Gabriella Habtom (Tel.: + 41 22 917 9193 / e-mail: ghabtom@ohchr.org)