Advocacy

The Advocacy Programme works to ensure that core human rights concerns are a priority consideration during the decision making processes of domestic, regional and international institutions and actors. Without such engagement there is a risk that temporary solutions to systemic problems devalue human rights and undermine much needed efforts towards accountability for violations.

 

LFJL currently advocates in key capitals around the world and before the UN Human Rights Council, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Assembly of State Parties to the International Criminal Court to inform activities and mandates related to Libya. Key to LFJL’s advocacy strategy is using these mechanisms in a complementary manner to strengthen opportunities for accountability.

 

The Advocacy Programme conducts advocacy by engaging with national and international stakeholders through meetings, urgent appeals and reporting the results of our surveys, interactions with Libyans and our monitoring work from across the country. This is in order to ensure that decisions that affect all those in Libya are made on an informed basis and in consideration of the concerns of Libyan stakeholders. The Advocacy Programme advocates for stronger human rights language and protections in resolutions by international and regional bodies, notably the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council and Security Council. Domestically, the Advocacy Programme encourages the state to develop effective policy decisions to implement Libya’s human rights commitments. Past initiatives include creating an online mechanism to enable the public to contact their elected representative in the House of Representatives to call for increased adherence to human rights and humanitarian law, as well as for accountability for violations. The Advocacy Programme also regularly corresponds with members of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA​) to encourage the improvement of human rights standards within the current draft constitution, their outreach efforts with the Libyan public, and the representation of marginalised communities and demographics within their deliberations.

 

UPRna ('Our UPR')

As well as undertaking its own advocacy, the Advocacy Programme empowers national NGOs so that they may also engage in such forums and pursue joint advocacy targets. Under this programme, LFJL brought together and trained Libya's first human rights coalition to carry out advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Together with the coalition, LFJL monitors and reports on, and advocates for, a number of human rights. The Advocacy Programme regularly submits urgent appeals to UN Special Procedures to respond to gross human rights violations urgently. Among the urgent appeals recently submitted were appeals to the Special Rapporteurs on the human rights of migrants; trafficking; contemporary forms of slavery; and on minority issues.

The programme organises side events at regional and international mechanisms to inform key decision-makers of the human rights situation in Libya with the aim of influencing policies. In 2017, LFJL hosted two side events. The first was at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council titled Fortress Europe: Threatening the Human Rights of Migrants . The second side event was at the 16th session of the Assembly of States Parties titled The Importance of Deterrence and the ICC’s Role in Current Violations.

 

Our partnership with Lawyers for Justice in Libya on the Eyewitness Libya series allowed us to hear first-hand what people in Libya were experiencing on the ground. The unique access that LFJL have to the testimonies of ordinary Libyans, and their credibility as legal professionals was very important. The Qadhafi regime deliberately interrupts the flow of information and it is often hard to know what to believe. It is vital that accurate reports continue to emerge and that’s why our partnership with LFJL on the Eyewitness Libya events has been so valuable.

Alastair Burt

Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister for the Middle East, UK

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