UN Security Council imposes sanctions to combat sexual violence in Libya

Following a proposal by the Netherlands, the UN can now more easily impose sanctions on the perpetrators and facilitators of sexual and gender-related violence in Libya. This was laid down in a resolution adopted today by the Security Council.

‘Sexual violence occurs along the entire Libyan migration route,’ said Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok. ‘I’m pleased that sexual violence has been explicitly included in the grounds for sanctions. All those who are directly or indirectly responsible for these atrocities now face international scrutiny.’ The Netherlands previously championed the introduction of a sanctions regime for sexual and gender-related violence in South Sudan.

Six months ago the Security Council imposed unprecedented sanctions on six human traffickers in Libya. ‘Human rights are being violated as a matter of course, migrants are being smuggled, and people trying to cross to Europe are exposed to violence,’ the minister said. ‘Earlier sanctions have had a significant deterrent effect. These criminals sense that they are being backed into a corner.’

Today’s Security Council resolution included another outcome that the Netherlands has been pushing for. The resolution calls on all UN member states to actively report on the steps they are taking to implement the sanctions against the six human traffickers. According to Mr Blok, ‘Imposing sanctions sends a signal, but we also need to ensure effective implementation.’ The sanctions require countries to freeze the traffickers’ assets and impose travel bans on them.

Ministry responsible