Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

On this occasion, the undersigned organizations renew their repeated calls to oppose and combat racial discrimination in Libya and the world at large.

The decline in equality in Libya must be taken seriously to secure a safe country and reassure all Libyans that they are equal despite the differences between them.  Based on the interim constitutional declaration and all international conventions, especially the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the undersigned organizations emphasize the necessity of drafting a non-discriminatory constitutional document.

Libya still suffers from multiple forms described as discrimination and racism towards some segments of Libyan society. Many Libyans from the Tuareg and others have been denied access to the national number and the right to citizenship due to a delay in administrative procedures that exceeded fifty years while they are waiting. They were given instead administrative numbers and deprived of obtaining passports because they do not have a national number.  Thus, many of them are deprived of treatment abroad, especially children, as children with chronic diseases who hold administrative numbers are deprived of the services provided by the Ministry of Health for treatment abroad, and the children of Libyan women married to foreigners are still deprived of the right to citizenship in Libya, even though they were born in Libya and their mothers are Libyans. These groups are subject to discrimination in transactions and deprivation of the right to education, movement and legal recognition of them, and some executive agencies, especially the security ones, still practice discrimination and incitement against immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers by treating them as criminals.

We recall that the United Nations celebrates this occasion this year under the slogan “Voices for Action against Racism”, and this year’s celebration aims in particular to highlight the importance of enhancing public participation and meaningful and safe representation in all areas of decision-making to prevent and combat racial discrimination, and to underscore the importance of fully respecting the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and the protection of civic space; Recognizing the contributions and challenges faced by individuals and organizations against racial discrimination.

On the anniversary of this day, the signatory organizations to this statement recommend the local and governmental authorities to:


  • Speed the procedure of settlement of the legal status of all Libyans, granting them their legal rights to citizenship and legal recognition and not discriminate them from other Libyans, since Libyan law recognizes their right to citizenship.
  • Address the situation of the internal immigrants and the forcibly displaced so that they do not get displaced for a long time and live a long distance from their homes, and the government bears full responsibility for protecting them and not distinguishing them from the rest of the Libyans and the people in the cities hosting them.
  • The Ministry of Health must abide by the principle of equality and non-discrimination in providing health services to Libyans and non-Libyans, regardless of their legal status. The patient is in a state of weakness, and it is not within the doctor’s mandate and tasks to refuse treatment for those with disputed legal situation in the country. 
  • Recommend that the Ministry of Education and those responsible for designing curricula to teach commandments and philosophies that reject racism and encourage coexistence and differences between human beings and that there is no discrimination between people in their rights.


Organizations that signed the statement:

  1. Defender Center for Human Rights
  2. Belady Foundation for Human Rights, Sabratha,
  3. Free Press Foundation, Sabratha.
  4. Al-Khair Association for Persons with Disabilities, Sabratha.
  5. Bassmat Amal Association for Autistic Children, Sabratha.
  6. Don’t Extinguish Candles for People with Disabilities, Sabratha
  7. Human Rights Without Chains Organization, Benghazi
  8. The Arab International Organization for Women’s Rights, Tripoli
  9. People for People, Misurata
  10. Tabaino Association for Human Rights, Nalut
  11. February 17 Environment and Human Rights Organization, Tripoli
  12. Al-Aman Organization Against Racial Discrimination, Kufra
  13. The Libyan Network for the Protection of Children’s Rights
  14. Ehqaq Organization for Sustainable Development of Women’s and Children’s Rights
  15. March 21 Foundation for Children’s Rights
  16. Solidarity for Human Rights
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