UNHCR Libya Alternatives to detention in Libya, April 2018 [EN/AR]
33 number of active official detention centres (as of 9 April)
392 monitoring visits to detention centres in 2018 (1,080 in 2017)
983 asylum-seekers and refugees released from detention in 2018 (1,428 in 2017)
51,519 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya
8,400 medical consultations provided in detention centres in 2018
As stated in UNHCR’s Guidelines on the Applicable Criteria and Standards relating to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers and Alternatives to Detention and the Global Strategy “Beyond Detention”, the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers should be avoided. UNHCR’s activities in detention centres do not represent an endorsement of the policy of detention. Given the urgent humanitarian needs in detention centres, it is essential that UNHCR continues to be engaged in the provision of humanitarian assistance, as well as in advocacy for alternatives to detention, as the first and foremost priority.
UNHCR’s practice is to only undertake visits to official detention centres and deliver assistance under the administration of the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration. UNHCR estimates that 5,000 refugees and migrants are currently detained in Libya, including some 2,500 persons of concern to UNHCR. In 2018, UNHCR and partners IMC and LibAid have conducted over 392 monitoring visits to detention centres throughout Libya. Libyan authorities estimate that thousands of refugees and migrants are still held in captivity by traffickers in undetermined locations, and in dire conditions.