Human Rights Watch has criticized the U.N. Human Rights Council for not insisting on accountability for abuses committed against migrants by EU-backed Libyan Coast Guards.
This comes in lights of revelations made by the UN Fact-Finding Mission, which reported “wide array of war crimes and crimes against humanity” against migrants stranded in Libya. It pointed out that the EU-backed Libyan Coast Guards were among main culprits committing crimes against migrants, and called on the EU to stop their support.
“The contrast between the resolution on Libya adopted this week at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the UN Fact-Finding Mission’s final report detailing violations and abuses in Libya is staggering,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday.
The NGO said that UN’s “weak” and “feeble” resolution “limited itself to supporting UN capacity-building and technical assistance to the government in Tripoli.”
Human Rights Watch explained that the resolution was drafted by the Libyan government itself – an established practice at the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“Instead of strengthening the text that Libya drafted, the EU proposed only marginal tweaks,” Human Rights Watch said. “Italy and Malta even gave their formal blessing to Libya’s toothless draft by formally co-sponsoring it.”
The NGO accused the EU of failing to “apply the same standards across situations of grave human rights violations”. It also called on the EU to “urgently change course” by suspending cooperation with Libyan authorities regarding the migration crisis.
“Every day the EU ignores well-documented and increasing evidence of crimes by entities it supports in Libya, it becomes even more complicit in abuses in the Mediterranean and in Libya,” Human Rights Watch concluded.