Canada has made it a priority to support the protection of human rights internationally. In Libya, the ongoing conflict and political transition have made the protection of human and civil rights even more urgent. Educating and engaging Libyans on their human and civic rights is a critical tool for supporting the country’s transition to democracy.
The Embassy of Canada to Libya recently partnered with Canadian Leaders in International Consulting (CLIC) and two local Libyan organizations to conduct awareness raising activities about women’s and children’s rights in Libya.
These workshops offered an important opportunity to provide Libyans with information on their rights; build the capacity of local organizations that continue to advocate for the rights of Libyans; and to develop and submit formal suggestions on the protection of rights to Libya’s Constitutional Drafting Assembly.
The project aimed to target Libyan women and men residing in Misrata, Khoms, and Tripoli, as well as Libyan children, parents, and teachers from local schools in the Amazigh community residing in the Nefusa Mountains. Participants explored the rights of women and children, how these rights are affected by conflict, and the ways in which women contribute to a stable and democratic society.
Mentoring sessions were provided to local partner organizations in Libya including Tira and Why for Me? Women’s Rights. Training on community outreach and mobilization was provided, enabling participating organizations to develop new tools and strategies to serve the needs of their communities. In order to keep dialogue and connections going moving forward, several human rights committees were formed which will bring ongoing benefits to the communities.
The Constitutional Drafting Assembly in Libya is currently working to develop a new constitution, which will serve as a cornerstone of the country’s democratic transition.
In the workshops, participants produced several recommendations which were submitted to the Assembly for their consideration during this process. Recommendations included ensuring equality for men and women throughout the constitution, strengthening language to guarantee the protection of rights, and providing legal provisions for divorce initiated by women.
This project provided a critical and well-timed opportunity to educate Libyans and support local organizations who are working to ensure these rights are protected during and after Libya’s transition.