Protection Sector Update on the Protection of Civilian Situation in Libya, 24 August 2019

Situation Report
Originally published



  • So far in 2019, there have been over 37 registered attacks on health facilities and workers; 11 deaths and 33 injured;

  • Since April, over 218 civilians have been killed and over 289 civilians have been injured;

  • 4,933 migrants and refugees are estimated remain arbitrarily detained in 20 detention centres across Libya, including some 3,133 individuals in detention facilities in conflict-affected areas around Tripoli

  • They are nearly 270,000 internally displaced persons, as of 20 August 2019, 135,000 were newly displaced in 2019, which is 305 per cent increase in new displacement from 2018.


Conflict between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) has been ongoing since 2014 to the detriment of the civilian population. Particularly vulnerable civilians, including women and children, are often disproportionality affected by armed conflict, and have continued to be impacted by the conflict in Libya. Armed actors are obligated to protect civilians, and it is with this premise that this update on the situation of the protection of civilians in Libya rests. This update is meant to inform protection actors and the wider humanitarian community about the protection of civilian needs and gaps in the Libyan operation, and the encourage international commitments to the protection of civilians in Libya.

Increase of internal displacement:

As of May 2019, there were nearly 270,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 445,000 IDP returnees in Libya.1 As of 20 August 2019, nearly 135,000 were newly displaced this year, including 5,000 due to flooding in Ghat. Over half of displacement in Libya occurred in 2014-2015, while 2019 represented the highest level of displacement since, with a 305 per cent increase in new displacement from 2018. The majority of IDPs live in rented accommodation, 7 per cent are estimated to live in public buildings, schools, hospitals or religious buildings. 6% are estimated in informal settlements, and 4 per cent in other shelter arrangements.

Civilian casualties

Since the onset of the Tripoli conflict in April 2019, over 218 civilians have been killed and over 289 civilians have been injured due to the ongoing conflict from attacks that use indiscriminate weaponry, being directly targeted, or being casualties to Explosive Remnants of Warin conflict-affected areas including Tripoli and Murzuq.

Civilian casualties have increased dramatically since 2018. An estimated 188 civilians were killed and 356 civilians injured due to the conduct of hostilities the entire year of 2018, as estimated by the UNSMIL Human Rights civilian casualty reports from 2018.3 This dramatic increase in 2019 is due to the renewal of hostilities in Tripoli due to the proximity of the hostilities to civilian populations.