In Libya, in order to protect civilians, Switzerland is involved multilaterally in strengthening capacities to coordinate the work of de-mining and in educating people as to the risks associated with mines and unexploded ordinance. Wider support for political transition, particularly in instituting the practice of dialogue to counterbalance polarization between different visions of the world, is currently underway. Switzerland contributes to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to promote the empowerment and political participation of women and respect for women’s rights throughout the transition, especially in the security sector. The participation of civil society in the Constitutional Process; improvement of detention conditions and prevention of human rights violations in prisons and detention centers constitute also part of Swiss engagement in Libya.
The main areas of partnership with Libya are the promotion of human rights and transitional justice, security sector reform, dialogue and human security, support to the elections and work on the constitutional process, as well as the protection of vulnerable persons.
Since early 2011, Switzerland has funded exploratory activities of the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in North Africa in response to partner country requests for assistance in transforming their security sectors to ensure security of citizens in compliance with democratic principles and human rights. Based on results in Tunisia and other donor interest, a multi-donor Trust Fund for Security Sector Assistance in North Africa was launched, covering Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Switzerland funds the regional window and participates in the Steering Committee.
UNSMIL and international NGOs are supported in their endeavours to secure small arms and light weapons as well as ammunition storages. Temporary storage sites were built in Misrata and Zintan and battle area clearance is ongoing.
Switzerland is supporting Libyan NGOs who work to improve the conditions in detention facilities, ensure the participation of women in the constitution process and sensitize the Libyan population on the importance of the constitution for the country’s democratic future. Expert support is given to dialogue activities and peace initiatives which look at past grievances and current challenges. A special emphasis is put on the role of women in public life and in the security sector.
Furthermore, Switzerland is contributing to the development of guidelines for effective assistance which is sensitive to conflicts, and does not cause or fuel them inadvertently.
Establishing public confidence in public service delivery is a key challenge in Libya. The project “Reinforcing Public Service Delivery” leverages Switzerland’s medical reputation to improve the quality of rehabilitation services in two pilot hospitals in Tripoli and in Sabratha. Effective long-term treatment for pain, psychological distress and disability will benefit injured warriors as well as civilians (women and children in particular) affected by war or accidents.