Human Rights Watch: Asylum seekers need crisis response in Libya

Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that more than 2000 African asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants camping since early October 2021 in precarious conditions in front of a shuttered United Nations facility are in dire need of shelter, food, and medical treatment.

Human Rights Watch called on Libyan authorities to respond to this humanitarian emergency, and on European states, whose support enables Libyan authorities to prevent people from reaching European shores, to scale up humanitarian evacuations.

“Since the UNHCR closed the center on October 4 citing security concerns for staff due to the large crowds encamped there, asylum seekers had not received any cash or in-kind assistance from any international organization or the Libyan government.” The report says.

Human Rights Watch reiterated that UNHCR should urgently explore all avenues for ensuring that the basic needs of people currently outside of the CDC are met, and take steps to identify people with protection needs, adding that UNHCR should also move quickly to reopen the center safely, including to provide accommodation to the most vulnerable among those sleeping in the streets.

It added that EU member states should condition cooperation with Libyan authorities on migration on the prompt release of all refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants being arbitrarily detained; formal recognition of UNHCR and allowing it the full exercise of its mandate; the signature and ratification of the 1951 Refugee Convention; and establishment of national programs for independent, impartial, and transparent monitoring of human rights violations against migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Libya.


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