By Libya Herald Staff
Tripoli, 25 November 2013
Unicef has called for Libyan child protection laws to be brought into line with international . . .[restrict]standards. Praising recent progress in the country, the UN children’s charity also urged lawmakers to prioritise the protection of children’s rights in the upcoming constitution.
The charity’s Libya director, Carel de Rooy, said in Tripoli today: “It is important to note that a lot of progress has been made so far. Together, we can do more and move faster to protect our children.”
Unicef cited a need for Libya to end its reliance on institutionalising children, raise the age of criminal responsibility and protect the rights of children from minority backgrounds.
It says the country has moved forward in combatting problems such as underage marriage, the use of corporal punishment in schools, and the establishment of specialised courts for children. However Unicef says there needs to be a move away from a punitive justice system with little or no emphasis on rehabilitation.
The Director of Family Development in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Sawsan Ehniesh, added she was “grateful to Unicef for the great steps taken so far”. She added that “we need Unicef to help us protect our children.”