Six municipalities within Libya, namely, Zintan, Awjila, Ghadames, Sirte , Souq Jumm’a, and Yefren, have made great strides towards prioritizing the needs and rights of children and adolescents.
Within the joint programme of UNICEF and EU in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, the six municipal councils were presented with Certificates of Recognition for the improvement and delivery of services.
Providing protection for the youths and endorsing their participation within their respective areas was also an important part of the award, however, the Minister of Local Government, Milad Al-Taher, mentioned that empowering the younger generation of Libya to help shape the future would lead from an air of protection, aiming towards an even higher level of development.
Al-Taher reiterated his belief that one could not stress enough the importance of nurturing and shaping the way forward to implement ‘The Child-Friendly Municipal Initiative, which was launched in 2017, stressing that it was all-encompassing and considered it paramount in providing a route to success.
The European Union Ambassador to Libya, Alan Bugeja also took part in the event and stated that although children rely on the guidance of their elders, their voices must also be heard.
He said also, that the youth of Libya had, undoubtedly been somewhat scarred due to the present military situation, particularly those of displaced families, but also mentioned the unwelcome impact of forced change on young minds.
He concluded that he was impressed with the great efforts of the many and various councils who worked, and continue to work hard in providing access to basic services such as education and health; he once more honored their commitment and hoped that their work would inspire others to take similar action throughout Libya generally.
The Special Representative of UNICEF to Libya, Abdel-Rahman Ghandour, in his statement on the occasion, clearly cited the amazing efforts and success of the six boroughs in helping to improve the lives of the youth within each separate area and aiding them in achieving their goals.
Ghandour added that although much had been achieved, there remains a great need for the implementation of similar programs throughout Libya to provide sanctuary for all children, male and female and ways and means to enjoy their childhood outdoors, as far too many youths are seeking refuge inside their living quarters through fear of attack, and for some, the problem is compounded by living in unfamiliar settings.