This report presents the findings of DTM Round 32 (July and August 2020) data collection, in which 584,509 migrants of over 47 nationalities were identified in Libya. Migrants’ presence was recorded in all 100 Libyan municipalities and in 575 (out of 667) communities (muhallas).
The number of migrants in Libya has been decreasing steadily since Round 30 (March-April 2020) and has dropped by an overall seven per cent between Round 30 (625,638 migrants) and Round 32 (584,509 migrants).
The sustained decline in the number of migrants coincides with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated socio-economic impact and mobility restrictions.
In addition to the impact of the protracted crisis and the sustained poor living conditions in Libya, the impact of COVID-19 continues to exacerbate the vulnerabilities of migrants, such as those in irregular situation, working in the informal economy as well as those fleeing their countries because of violence or persecution. The significant unemployment rate, constrained access to livelihoods opportunities for migrant workers, tightened security controls and mobility restrictions are amongst the factors likely contributing to the drop in the number of migrants in Libya.
In parallel, during the reporting period and since March 2020, most Points of Entry (PoE) have remained closed for entry, except for returning Libyans. At the same time, several land border crossing points were periodically opened to allow groups of migrants to leave the country (more details on p.19).
Furthermore, irregular departures were also reported along Libya’s southern borders while stricter security measures and the intensification of controls targeting migrants in irregular situations and including interceptions and pushbacks in Eastern and South-Eastern Libya, further contributed to the decreasing number of migrants.
Moreover, in July and August the number of migrants departing from the Libyan shores to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe has increased in comparison to last year. In July and August, a total of 12,393 migrants arrived in Italy and Malta from Libya and Tunisia.
In August, at least 45 migrants, including five children, perished at sea in the largest shipwreck off the coast of Libya in 2020. The 37 survivors, mainly from Senegal, Mali, Chad and Ghana, after being rescued by local fishermen were detained upon disembarkation. A total of 398 deaths were recorded in 2020 (as of 31 August) on the Central Mediterranean route.
While the number of tracked migrants decreased by three per cent compared to Round 31, the most common nationalities remain consistent with previous rounds and are heavily influenced by geographical proximity and diasporic ties. The majority of migrants (387,616 individuals or 66%) were from neighbouring Niger (20%),
Egypt (17%), Chad (16%) and Sudan (14%).
In line with a trend which has been consistent for the past year, the largest migrant populations were identified in the regions of Tripoli (14%), Ejdabia (12%), Misrata (10%), Azzawya (7%), Benghazi (7%) Murzuq (7%) and Sebha (6%).