First Human Rights Trainings Held Inside Libyan Detention Centres Since 2014
Libya - IOM is currently providing human rights training sessions in five Libyan detention centres, the first such trainings since 2014.
In this pilot project, IOM is targeting five centres (Abu Salim, Tariq al Sekka, Al Khums, Gharyan Alhamra and Triq Al Matar) to enhance the capacity of the staff and help improve the living conditions of the migrants.
The first two of the five trainings, inside Tripoli’s Tariq Al Sekka and Abu Salim detention centres, on 14 April and 18 April respectively, focused on the promotion and protection of the human rights of migrants inside the detention centres and was delivered to 24 of the Abu Salim management and 28 of Tariq Al Sekka personnel. The trainings were conducted by the management of the centres, after having attended an intensive five-day course in Tunis in February 2017, with the assistance of IOM staff.
“It is a great step to be able to restart the trainings inside detention centres in Libya,” explained Programme Manager Maysa Khalil.
Some of the topics that were discussed included identification of vulnerable cases, the needs of the migrants, protection and prevention of diseases, and smuggling and human trafficking.
“It is important to build a good relationship with the migrants who are residing in the centres for them to feel safe,” said Mohamed Salem, one of the participants from Tariq Al Sekka following the training sessions. For him the training increased the understanding of the migrants’ needs and their vulnerabilities.
Challenges identified during the session involved communication difficulties due to language barriers and the struggle of handling health cases, such as providing ambulances for urgent cases, and of coordination with clinics for patients such as pregnant women, and those with psychological and mental problems.
“The attendees were excited to participate and tried to give solutions and share suggestions to facilitate the stay of migrants inside the centres by, for example, having a space for children to have fun and play away from their rooms for most of the day,” explained IOM’s Moad Ayad who believes, that the training will have an impact when it comes to the treatment of migrants in detention.
Other issues that were raised were the importance of separating minors and women from other detainees, as well as the right of all migrants to practice their religion freely.
“Even though IOM advocates for the release of detained migrants, this type of human rights trainings aims at long-term improvement of the living conditions for migrants currently inside detention centres,” added Khalil.
The trainings are part of a wider IOM intervention which is focusing on building the capacity of detention centre authorities to ensure that migrants are treated in a way that upholds their dignity and fully respects their human rights.
“The hope is to be able to provide as many detention centre personnel with the training as possible,” added Khalil.
This pilot is part of project, Support and Provide Assistance to Authorities and Migrants in Detention Centres and Contribute to Addressing the Migration Flow through Voluntary Repatriation in Libya, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom.
Under the same project, four detention centres were rehabilitated to meet the basic needs of migrants, particularly when it relates to water and sanitation facilities.