UN Human Rights Office concerned about the lack of assistance to migrants at sea Drastic drop in irregular migration to Europe during lockdown Between xenophobia and solidarity: How migrants in Europe are treated Transit migrants benefit from vocational training Mediterranean: 40,000 people intercepted and returned to Libya between 2017 and 2020

Mediterranean: 40,000 people intercepted and returned to Libya between 2017 and 2020

Around 40,000 migrants have been intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard in the last three years while attempting to reach Europe via the Central Mediterranean Corridor. 

These returns follow the signing of a commitment from several European countries to strengthen the Libyan Coast Guard’s capacity to curb irregular migration to Europe. The deal was reached in Malta on 3 February 2017. 

Since the deal, the number of migrants arriving irregularly in Europe via the Mediterranean has fallen, as the association Res Publica explains. However, despite the decrease in arrivals, the deal has had a negative impact on migrants’ rights, according to Yves Pascouau, programme director at Res Publica. 

Indeed, after being forcibly returned, migrants are usually detained in conditions that the UN human rights office, OHCHR, has denounced. 

Moreover, this deal has not stopped the deaths in the Mediterranean. In 2019 alone, at least 1,885 migrants died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In response to this situation, several European states met in October 2019 to reach an agreement about the distribution of migrants rescued at sea. The deal aims to stop humanitarian vessels carrying rescued migrants from having to endure long waits.

TMP – 26/03/2020

Photo credit: Tinnakorn jorruang / Shutterstock

Photo caption: Male prisoners in prison, behind steel cage bars, have been severely tested in the dark prison, violence, human trafficking, prison and the concept of prisoner.