Published: July 13, 2019
On 11 July, UNHCR and IOM called for a change in the international approach to refugees and migrants in Libya. In a joint press release, both agencies stressed that the international community should consider the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees a core element of its engagement in Libya. As a priority, UNHCR and IOM ask that 5,600 refugees and migrants currently held in centres across Libya be freed in an orderly manner and their protection guaranteed, or evacuated to other countries from where accelerated resettlement is needed. For this, countries must step forward with more evacuation and resettlement places. In addition, migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin should continue to be able to do so. UNHCR and IOM also emphasized that the detention of those disembarked in Libya after being rescued at sea has to stop. Practical alternatives exist and can include living in the community or in open centres. Corresponding registration duties should be established. Semi-open safe centres can be established similar to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility.
On 10 July, UNHCR relocated 103 refugees who remained in Tajoura detention centre to the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli. This followed earlier attempts to relocate the most vulnerable refugees in Tajoura to the GDF. A day earlier, refugees in Tajoura were given the choice by the authorities to freely leave the detention centre. A group of some 300 refugees and migrants who decided to leave Tajoura detention centre reached the GDF by foot. UNHCR is currently exploring solutions for this group in coordination with partners and the authorities. For the timebeing, all persons will remain at the GDF, which currently hosts almost 900 persons and is currently at full capacity.
As of 11 July, 3,905 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard in 2019. This week, 219 refugees and migrants were disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base (91 individuals), in Al Khums (82 individuals),
Azzawya (30 individuals), and Misrata (16 individuals). UNHCR and its partner the International Medical Corps (IMC) provided medical assistance and core-relief items to those disembarked before they were transferred to a detention centre by the authorities. Recently, boats departed from areas near Azzawya and Al Khums.
UNHCR continues to support refugees and asylum-seekers with solutions out of Libya. This week, 34 refugees who were living in urban settings departed from Tripoli to UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Centre in Romania. So far in 2019, 1,330 refugees departed for solutions out of Libya, including 1,005 through humanitarian evacuations and 325 through the resettlement programme or other durable solutions.
UNHCR, IMC and CESVI are assisting urban refugees at the Community Day Centre in Tripoli. So far in 2019, UNHCR distributed cash-based assistance to over 551 refugee families and supported refugees and asylum-seekers with over 5,300 medical consultations.
UNHCR and its partner ACTED distributed cash assistance to 300 IDPs in Sabha and Brak al Shati, southern region. This assistance aims to cover basic needs, including food, hygiene items, fuel, and other household costs. So far in 2019, UNHCR and partners have assisted over 4,600 IDPs (921 families) with cash assistance source