CEDAW: Responses to the list of issues and questions with regard to the consideration of the 2nd Periodic Report: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Source: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
14. Please provide information on steps taken by the Higher Committee regarding the adoption of a rule that would allow a Libyan mother to transfer her nationality to her child. Please also indicate whether the current legislation allows Libyan women to transfer their nationality to their foreign husbands.
With respect to steps taken to allow Libyan women to transfer their nationality to their children, as decided by the Higher Committee, the Nationality Law does not differentiate between men and women under any circumstances with respect to the acquisition of nationality, because a woman has guarantees independently of her husband. She therefore retains her nationality after marriage, her family name and her financial independence.
In Law No. 18 of 1980 concerning nationality, pursuant to which (Libyan) Arab nationality is granted in accordance with the conditions and under the circumstances specified by the executive regulations, article 1 provides that citizens of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya have Arab nationality, while article 6 provides that an Arab woman who marries a foreign national shall retain her Arab nationality, unless she elects to acquire her husband’s nationality, in which case the relevant law shall apply. Should the marriage end, she shall reassume her Arab nationality, providing she forfeits her foreign nationality and duly informs the Secretary of the General People’s Committee for Justice.
With respect to stateless women, Law No. 7 of 1989 ratifies the following conventions, to which the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is therefore bound:
1.Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
2.Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
3.Convention on the Nationality of Married Women.
The children of a Libyan woman married to a foreign man do not enjoy their mother’s nationality because, in accordance with norms and religious and genealogical concepts, children trace their ancestry to their father and acquire his nationality.
The Charter on the Rights and Duties of Women in Libyan Arab Society that was issued by the Second Women’s Liberation Conference that was held on 16 March 1997 states in article 20 that the children of a Libyan woman married to a foreign man enjoy all the same rights as Libyans, and in article 21, that Libyan women affirm the right of the children of a Libyan Arab woman married to an Arab to enjoy the same rights as Libyans and bear the same responsibilities. A nationality bill has been drafted that gives men and women equal rights in respect of nationality, without discrimination.
It is worth noting that Law No. 18 of 1980 concerning the provisions of the nationality law and its executive regulations guaranteed the rights of the children of Arabs married to citizens other than those of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to obtain nationality, in accordance with the conditions and precepts provided for in article 3 of the executive regulations, which accords that right to a child that has reached majority. Minor children do not have that right because, in accordance with religious and genealogical concepts, children trace their ancestry to their father and acquire his nationality.
Pursuant to Law No. 18 of 1980, article 2, and article 1 of the executive regulations, the non-Libyan husband of a Libyan woman may acquire Arab nationality, in accordance with the relevant conditions and precepts, if he is of Arab origin or a national of an Arab country. That right is not accorded to any husband of a Libyan woman who is not of Arab origin.
It should be noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is in the process of amending Law No. 15 of 1984 concerning marriage to non-Libyans, with a view to guaranteeing to Libyan women that any children they have by a non-Libyan man will have the right to acquire citizenship.
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