Libya Detained Migrants Must Be Internationally Protected

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Paris Francophone Institute for Freedoms (PFIF) calls for serious and effective international action to protect migrants detained in Libya in light of the violations they face while trying to reach Europe.

PFIF is concerned about the fact that migrants are subjected to arbitrary arrest and sexual assault in official or unofficial prisons, as well as to abduction or forced labor in Libya.

According to a UN report, more than 669,000 migrants were registered in Libya in 2018, including 12% of women and 9% of children. Some 5,300 migrants detained in Libya during the mentioned period, including 3,700 people, require international protection.

The UN report stresses that women and children are particularly vulnerable to rape, sexual abuse and exploitation by government and non-governmental entities in Libya.

Power in Libya is submerged in anarchy since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011 two powers: the national reconciliation government backed by the international community in Tripoli, and a parallel government in the east backed by the elected parliament and the Libyan National Army.

PFIF emphasizes the responsibility of the internationally recognized government in Libya, the United Nations and all international parties to protect refugees in Libya, provide them with safe places and stop the violations they face.

It also affirms that the principles of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants in the World of 2016 and the international conventions on asylum and migration of refugees detained in Libya should apply to the Declaration, urging states to commit themselves to providing a safe place for refugees, easing pressure on welcoming and hosting States and making resettlement more widely available to refugees in third countries and to promote conditions that enable refugees to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and dignity.

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