Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner’s Report on the situation of human rights in Libya

Statement of the United States of America
as delivered by Luke Falcon Sapp

37th Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, March 21, 2018

Thank you Mr. President.

We thank the High Commissioner for the important work his office has done in assessing the human rights situation in Libya.  The United States thanks the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for his important efforts to advance the UN Action Plan for Libya and help Libyans prepare to organize credible and peaceful national elections.

We encourage all Libyan parties to support the UN-facilitated political process and work together in the spirit of compromise toward the common goal of a peaceful, united, and inclusive Libya.  We are deeply concerned by continued reports of international law violations in Libya, including attacks targeting civilians and unlawful killings captured in video footage that has horrified the world.  In January alone, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) documented a sharp rise in civilian casualties due to the conflict in Libya, reporting 39 deaths.  We emphasize the need for transparent investigation into any reports of abuses and action to hold perpetrators accountable.  We continue to stress the importance of protecting civilians during stabilization efforts.

The United States shares the outrage of the international community and Libyan authorities at the horrific allegations of human trafficking in Libya.  We welcome the Libyan Government of National Accord’s (GNA) condemnation of trafficking in persons, including for the purpose of slavery, inside or outside the country and its commitment to investigate these allegations and bring the perpetrators to justice.  We urge the GNA to ensure this investigation proceeds promptly and transparently.

Between 700,000 to one million refugees and migrants, largely sub-Saharan Africa, are currently estimated to be present in Libya.  The United States strongly support efforts by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address deteriorating conditions for refugees and migrants inside Libya.

How can member-states best support the Libyan Government of National Accord’s in addressing challenges or gaps in assistance to migrants and refugees?

Thank you.