UN Committee alarmed by disastrous consequences of Libyan armed conflict for migrant workers' rights

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GENEVA (13 April 2011) – A UN expert committee on migrants’ rights has expressed deep concern about the victimization of migrant workers and their families in Libya, in particular those from sub-Saharan Africa.

The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families also cited the “dangerous interception of migrants at sea and at inland borders” as worrying. It was especially saddened by the recent drowning of more than two hundred people off the southern coast of Italy, including many women and children, attempting to flee Libya.*

“We are deeply concerned about the recurrence of violations of the right to life, acts of violence, including sexual violence as well as acts of discrimination and arbitrary detentions victimizing migrant workers, particularly sub-Saharan Africans, and their families in Libya,” the experts stated.

“The Committee is particularly concerned about the humanitarian situation of thousands of migrant workers and their families who are without shelter or stay in overcrowded transit centres and lack access to basic amenities such as drinking water, adequate food and basic health services.”

The experts called on the international community to provide assistance, especially economic and technical, to migrant workers and their families and to take all necessary measures to ensure that those who have fled Libya are treated with respect for their dignity and in conformity with international human rights standards and international humanitarian law.

*To read the full statement by the Committee in English, French or Spanish, please visit:


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