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UN Chiefs call for international solidarity to address migrant and refugee flows in Libya

GENEVA (10 February 2017)  – 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 Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya Martin Kobler met today in Geneva to underscore the need for a comprehensive approach to address the situation of migrants and refugees in Libya as well as to assist the hundreds of thousands of Libyans displaced and impacted by the crisis.

Along with many Libyans, migrants and refugees are heavily impacted by ongoing conflicts and the breakdown in law and order in Libya. 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.

The four Principals stress 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. 

The four welcome 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.


The Principals call for international solidarity to address this crisis, involving not only Libya but also countries of origin, transit and destination.

For further information please contact:

IOM: Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 79 285 71 23, Email: ldoyle@iom.int   
Office of SRSG: Jonathan Lorrillard, Tel: +21699497429, Email: lorrillard@un.org
UNHCR: William Spindler, Tel:+41 79 217 3011, Email: spindler@unhcr.org ,
OHCHR: Liz Throssell, Tel: +41 22 917 9466, Email: ethrossell@ohchr.org

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