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Although European and African efforts to reduce irregular migration have successfully lowered overall numbers entering Europe, some migrants are transiting increasingly hazardous smuggling routes across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea, risking human rights abuses and indefinite detention. The UN’s voluntary humanitarian return program assisted over 19,000 migrants to return to their home countries from Libya in 2017, up from around 3,000 assisted migrant returns from Libya in 2016. An estimated 400,000–700,000 migrants live in detention in Libya.
Approximately 12 million people lived in protracted refugee situations* around the world at the end of 2015, comprising nearly two-thirds of the global refugee population. A protracted refugee situation exists when 25,000 or more refugees originating from the same country have sought refuge in another country for at least five consecutive years.
*These numbers include people in a refugee-like situation