The full transcript of the international conference “Violation of human rights following the closure of the Libyan route: the jurisdictional remedies and legal responsibilities of Italy and Libya”, held in Tunis on 15 and 16 March 2019, are now available online.
The conference, which marked the start of the Sciabaca project, is the result of the cooperation among ASGI, ARCI and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS). All three organizations have long been involved in researching and challenging EU and Member States’s policies externalization of borders and of the right to asylum.
The conference gathered Tunisian, Libyan, Italian and European activists and scholars, determined to combat externalization policies and their effects, i.e. depriving thousands of migrants trapped in Libya, Tunisia and others African countries of their right to seek asylum in Europe, to move freely and leave their country, and not to be exposed to human rights violations. The closure of the Libyan route in 2017 would not have been possible without an intense cooperation between European and North African countries which led, among other things, to conclude international agreements, strengthen border controls, provide economic and political support to Libya, delegate relief and refoulements at sea to the Libyan coastguard, criminalize rescue activities by non-governmental organizations.
Participants to the Tunis conference agreed that the complex international dimension of the problem requires an equally international response from civil society through a renewed and closer mutual collaboration based on an equal relationship and mutual trust. Organizations can provide added value to each other in a number of forms, including sharing information and knowledge about their respective countries; using each organization’s legal, language and cultural skills; learning from each other’s professional experience in specific fields; sharing views on strategies for joint litigation actions before European, African and international judicial bodies. During the two-day conference, lawyers, professors, jurists and experts discussed litigation avenues before the Court and the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, the UN’s Human Rights Committee, the International Criminal Court and domestic European courts.
A first tangible result of the conference was the joint ASGI, ARCI and CIHRS submission, on 22 July 2019, of a joint request to the African Commission to carry out an investigation into serious violations the human rights that refugees and migrants suffer in Libyan detention centers.