Libya: Heads of UN agencies stress need for comprehensive approach to address Libyan migrants issue

GENEVA – The heads of several UN agencies, who met here on Friday, underscored the need for a comprehensive approach to address the situation of migrants and refugees in Libya.

The high-ranking UN officials gathered here included the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler.

They said in a joint statement issued Friday that along with many Libyans, migrants and refugees are heavily impacted by ongoing conflicts and the breakdown in law and order in Libya.

They added that untold numbers of migrants and refugees, particularly those smuggled or trafficked into Libya and those in detention, are subjected to grave human rights abuses and violations.

“Migrants and refugees in detention are held outside of any legal process and in conditions which are generally inhuman. They are exposed to malnutrition, extortion, torture, sexual violence and other abuses,” they said.

The four principals stressed the need for close cooperation at the regional and international level, and the need to look at the drivers of migrant and refugee flows while simultaneously improving regular pathways.

They also called for international solidarity to address this crisis, with not only Libya involved but also countries of origin, transit and destination.

They welcomed in this respect initiatives aimed at enhancing the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees, saving lives at sea and addressing the reasons why individuals are undertaking irregular and precarious migration.

Source: Angola Press News Agency