UN urges Libya to treat migrants with dignity

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The United Nations urged Libya to treat migrants and asylum seekers with dignity, highlighting concerns over their treatment including arbitrary detention and mass expulsion. “Libyan authorities have arrested thousands of men, women and children from the streets and their homes or following raids on alleged traffickers’ camps and warehouses,” the UN’s Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement. Many, including “pregnant women and children”, are held in “overcrowded and unsanitary” conditions, UNSMIL said.
Authorities must grant UN agencies and aid organisations “unimpeded access to detainees in need of urgent protection”, UNSMIL added. Libya is a key departure point for migrants who are often fleeing conflict and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. They seek to reach Italian shores just 290 kilometres to the north across the Mediterranean Sea. Libya hosts more than 600 000 migrants, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Most enter illegally by crossing vast deserts to enter the country’s porous southern border. Vessels carrying migrants off its coast are regularly intercepted by the Libyan navy – even in international waters – with those on board forcibly returned and placed in detention centres. Since the beginning of 2023, more than 7 000 migrants have been intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, the IOM said. More than 600 have drowned in attempted crossings to Europe and 368 people are missing, the agency added. In the same period, more than 50 000 migrants have arrived in Italy including more than 22,000 from Libya, according to the UN’s refugee agency.
-photo credit agenziafotogramma.it-

Source: medNews