UN experts call on Libya’s GNU to scrap discriminatory policy against traveling females

UN experts –  known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council – have expressed deep concern about a discriminatory policy issued by the Libyan Government of National Unity (GNU) in April 2023 that effectively restricts the rights of women and girls to travel abroad without a male guardian (Mahram).

The experts explained that under GNU’s policy, all women and girls are mandated to fill out a detailed form providing personal information, reasons and previous history of traveling without a male guardian. Those who refuse to complete or submit the form are denied exit. 

The experts indicated that 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.

They also voiced their deep concern 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 independent experts were concerned about reported attempts by the Libyan Internal Security Agency to intimidate human rights defenders, including women, who have spoken out against these policies.

They urged the authorities to withdraw this discriminatory requirement, and to prevent all intimidation, harassment and attacks against women and human rights defenders who had protested against the policy.

The policy has caused dismay since implementation last April. Women’s rights defenders in Libya and abroad have called on the GNU and its ISA to scrap the policy as it is considered discriminatory.


More Posts

Send Us A Message