UNSMIL and OHCHR train Libyan Women Activists on the integration of a gender perspective in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
TUNIS, 17 December 2019 –UNSMIL in collaboration with OHCHR completed a three-day training on the integration of gender into the Universal Periodic Review Process. The training targeted 15 geographically diverse women activists working on issues related to gender equality, combatting gender-based violence and promoting human rights. It further aimed to maximize knowledge among participants of gender sensitive analyses, monitoring, and how to best formulate tailor made and specific action-oriented recommendations to address gender related human rights violations. On the last day participants conceptualized a robust advocacy and outreach campaign strategy to build up momentum for the upcoming UPR cycle review of Libya’s human rights record due to take place under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council in May 2020.
This training was part of a series of other training designed for Libyan government officials, human rights defenders and civil society activists. The UPR Review of Libya in May 2020 represents a key opportunity for the Government of Libya to provide a frank assessment of the human rights situation and challenges it faces, in addition to the steps taken since 2015 to address these challenges. Civil society organizations, human rights and women’s rights defenders are of paramount importance in standing up for human rights and gender equality, including monitoring and reporting noting the commitments made by the Libyan Government at the previous UPR review and Libya’s international human rights law obligations.
Dr. Saliha Sdaga a law professor at University of Omar Almukhtar, Albayda, added that “despite my extensive knowledge in human rights mechanisms, this training delivered crucial information and provided participants with tools on how to amplify engagement and the use of international human rights mechanisms to promote human rights and gender equality.”
Libya’s recent election to the UN Human Rights Council, the primary inter-Governmental body on human rights in the UN, creates an additional responsibility on the State of Libya to uphold human rights standards.
 The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.