In 2018, UNICEF Libya contracted Coram International to provide technical assistance to a large-scale Project as part of UNICEF’s active engagement with the Government to establish and develop systems towards creating a protective environment for children and promoting awareness on the rights of the child, including in relation to the child justice system and in the context of children associated with armed groups. This project has three primary workstreams: Development of a five-year national action plan for the elimination of violence against children from 2019-2023; Support to development of a justice system for children within the wider justice system in Libya that is sensitive to the needs of children and in harmony with the provisions of the CRC and other international legal instruments related to child justice; Development of a methodology and research plan to further research on violence against children and child protection in Libya.
In 2015-2018, Coram International assisted UNICEF, the NCDC and the Libyan government (in particular the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs) to develop a better understanding of the extent and nature of VAC in schools and home settings in Libya, including against children with HIV/AIDS. The study involved an analysis of the social and cultural factors contributing to attitudes towards and systematic causes of VAC, and identified individual and community strengths and resources to identify, prevent and respond to such violence. The research was used to inform the development of a set of recommendations that would be used by the Libyan authorities and other stakeholders to establish polices, strategies and action plans to prevent VAC. In addition to the above, the research was used to inform the development of specific ‘awareness-raising strategy’ for the authorities in order to sensitise them to VAC and educate the public on how to identify and report instances of VAC in schools and family settings, and finally how such VAC violates child rights and the consequences of breaking the law.
From 2014 to 2015, Coram International worked with UNICEF to develop and deliver a series of capacity-building training courses for juvenile justice, social welfare and child protection professionals in Libya (delivered in Tunisia). Courses included: multi-disciplinary training on restorative justice and juvenile justice for police, judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, prosecutors and civil society activists; multi-disciplinary training for these professionals on the treatment of child victims and witnesses in contact with the criminal justice system; and specialist training courses on children in conflict and in contact with the law for judges and prosecutors, and social workers. The training courses and activities were designed specifically to:
- Provide in-depth knowledge of the international standards and best practices relating to juvenile justice, child social welfare and child protection;
- Engage the participants in interactive exercises to identify best practices and challenges in implementing these standards in Libya, and to develop human rights-based solutions to these challenges taking into account the security situation and resource constraints within the country; and
- Strengthen the participants’ skills in implementing the international standards and best practices during the course of their day-to-day activities, including the use of child-friendly interviewing techniques, the ability to identify children at risk of harm, the ability to reach decisions involving a complex balancing of competing interests whilst ensuring that the best interests of the child remain a primary consideration, and the implementation of special measures of protection for children.