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Libya: UN experts concerned by discriminatory policy restricting women and girls’ movement abroad

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News briefing

Translated and edited by: CFJ

Geneva: July 24, 2023


UN experts have expressed deep concern about the discriminatory policy issued by the Libyan Government of National Unity, in April 2023, which effectively restricts the rights of women and girls to travel abroad without a male guardian or guardian.


Discriminatory policy:


“Not only is this policy discriminatory, but it also restricts the freedom of movement of women and girls, including students who leave the country to study abroad,” the experts said, noting reports that women and girls who refuse to complete or submit the form are denied exit.


The experts reported that the new policy was implemented systematically without any formal or prior announcement, and all women and girls traveling were asked to fill out a form providing personal information, reasons for traveling without a male guardian or mahram, and details of their previous history of traveling without a male guardian.

“We are particularly concerned about the negative impact of the discriminatory procedure on the fundamental rights and freedoms of women and girls, in contradiction with Libya’s international and national obligations on non-discrimination, equality and the right to privacy,” the experts said.


Harassment of human rights defenders:

They also expressed concern about reported attempts by Libya’s Internal Security Service (ISA); To intimidate human rights defenders – including women – who have spoken out against these policies.

The experts urged the Libyan authorities to withdraw this discriminatory requirement, and to prevent all intimidation, harassment and assault against women and human rights defenders who protested this discriminatory policy.

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