Judicial System holds important Role in upholding Children’s Rights and ensuring their Best Interest

21 Apr 2013

Judicial System holds important Role in upholding Children’s Rights and ensuring their Best Interest

TRIPOLI, 21 April 2013 – The Libyan Higher Judicial Institute (HJI) and UNICEF have launched a comprehensive capacity building programme for judges, prosecutors, and others involved in the judicial system in Libya, with the aim of preparing a solid ground for building a juvenile justice system in Libya. The Higher Judicial Institute has also hosted and led, with UNICEF's technical support, a 3-day consultation on drafting a Juvenile Justice Law.

A recent UNICEF-supported mapping of Libya's existing laws and policy frameworks relevant to child protection showed that there are positive elements in Libya's legislations, such as prohibition of death penalty for persons under 18, prohibition of marriage for persons under 20, and prohibition of corporal punishment in school (reports indicate that this is still being practiced, however) .

However, much work still needs to be done before the Libyan legal system is in line with international standards and provides adequate protection for children and adolescents; particularly a shift towards a rights-based approach would be favorable. "Children in contact with the law need to be given different treatment than adults all the way from initial contact, detention, and release" said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Country Director, at the opening of the judges training. "You, as judges, play a critical role in putting in place systems that protect minors, especially girls, so that they are given the special care and attention they deserve" de Rooy added.

The current capacity building programme was initiated through a four-day workshop, which started on 07 April for judges from various regions of Libya under the theme "Realizing the best interests of the child through judicial judgments". At the end of the training, the President of the Supreme Judicial Council and Supreme Court, UNICEF Libya Country Director, and Judge Bakkar from the HJI handed out certificates to participants.

A second training for 25 prosecutors starts today 21 April, under the theme "The role of prosecutors in upholding Children's Rights". The official closing ceremony will take place on 24 April.

The trainings cover the general principles of the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), and include case studies and examples from many countries around the world. "These trainings are only the beginning of a long cooperation between the Higher Judicial Institute and UNICEF" said Judge Bakkar from the Higher Judicial Institute at the opening.

Raising awareness among judges and prosecutors is an important step. "A critical next step will be to ensure that children's rights are adequately reflected in the new Libyan constitution. This will determine to what extent a rights-based approach can be reflected in the legal system" commented Eliza Murtazaeva, UNICEF Libya Child Protection Specialist.


UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For more information about UNICEF's work in education visit:

www.unicef.org/education or www.educationandtransition.org

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For further information, please contact:

Ms Yosi Echeverry Burckhardt
Reports Officer, UNICEF Libya
+218 91 93 59 765

Or in the UNICEF Regional Office:
Simon Ingram
Regional Chief of Communication, Amman, Jordan
+962 79 590 4740