UNHCR Libya Operation Update, 17 - 27 July 2017
240,188 Libyans currently internally displaced persons (IDPs)1
249,298 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)
42,028 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya
94,385 persons arriving in Italy by sea so far in 20172
75.5 million required for IDPs and refugees in Libya in 2017
Libya continues to be the main transit point for departures from North Africa across the Central Mediterranean route to Europe. So far in 2017, 94,385 persons arrived by sea to Italy. In the first six months of 2017, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted a total of 8,165 refugees and migrants and recovered 389 bodies along the Libyan coast. Out of those rescued/intercepted, 65% of the refugees and migrants were disembarked in Azzawya, located 50km west of Tripoli.
UNHCR support at disembarkation points (shaded areas, sanitary facilities, health support and NFIs) improves the reception facilities and provides protection from the elements. During the reporting period, UNHCR and its partner IMC assisted 128 refugees and migrants who were disembarked by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) in Tripoli with immediate health care and core relief items. Upon disembarkation, the shaded areas and sanitary facilities constructed by UNHCR protected those rescued from exposure to high temperatures (40°C) and the direct sun. UNHCR’s interventions at disembarkation points focus on the provision of life-saving assistance and protection monitoring, identifying persons in need of international protection, as well as vulnerable individuals, such as unaccompanied and separated children, elderly, medical cases, women at risk or victims of trafficking.
UNHCR and IOM jointly organized the fifth technical working group meeting to discuss Standard Operating Procedures for the Libyan Coast Guard during rescue at sea operations. The Standard Operating Procedures will ensure that refugees and migrants receive immediate life-saving assistance upon disembarkation, and that persons in need of international protection are screened, protection concerns are rapidly identified and referral mechanisms to protection actors are in place, including access to registration.
UNHCR and IMC continued monitoring activities in detention centres in western Libya. Protection and medical teams visited six detention centres in western Libya and assisted 1,026 individuals with medical care and protection referrals. At the detention centres, UNHCR monitors the provision of life-saving assistance, advocates for enhanced access to screening, identification and registration, as well as for measures preventing risks of sexual and gender based violence. UNHCR advocates for the release of refugees and asylum seekers, in particular unaccompanied and separated children and other vulnerable individuals, and for alternatives to detention, including care arrangements for children and family tracing. This week, five Syrian refugees were released from the detention centre in Triq al Sika following UNHCR’s intervention. The group was referred to two community development centres in Tripoli for registration and assistance. So far in 2017, UNHCR and partners conducted 577 visits to detention centres. A total of 976 refugees and asylum seekers were released from detention since January 2016, of which 376 in 2017 alone .
UNHCR organized several capacity building activities for authorities, NGOs, and civil society. A three-day workshop on International Refugee Law was conducted with the Libyan Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. In coordination with UNMAS and Handicap International, UNHCR organized a workshop on mine victim assistance for over 40 representatives of Libyan civil societies, authorities, NGOs and partners.
UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF national and regional teams met to discuss inter-agency coordination, including cross-referrals, profiling and case management. Discussions also took place on the coordination of activities under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
The UNHCR Representative and Deputy Representative completed a ten-day mission to Libya. They held meetings with senior government officials and key interlocutors in order to enhance coordination with authorities and partners. International staff continue to work remotely from Tunis, Tunisia, whilst maintaining a weekly rotational presence in Libya.