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Migrant Workers Committee condemns the trafficking and sale of migrants in Libya and calls on governments to undertake urgent measures to end the human rights violations of migrant workers and members of their families in Libya

1 December 2017

Confronted with grave human rights violations in relation to migrant workers and members of their families in Libya, as denounced by media the world over, and with full support for the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, who underlined the abuses and crimes against migrants and the need to provide an immediate and concrete response, the Committee on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: 

Firmly rejects and condemns the grave human rights violations of migrant workers and their families held in slavery in Libya, with evidence demonstrating crimes against humanity.

Calls upon all States of origin and destination of these migrants to undertake immediate action to end the trafficking and sale of human beings ensuring the strict application of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families adopted by the United Nations General Assembly by its resolution 45/158 of 18 December 1990, and to provide severe sanctions to the perpetrators of human rights violations against migrants, within and outside Libya’s borders.

Calls on African States to take judicial action to judge and condemn all human rights violations to which migrant workers are subjected and to conclude a multilateral agreement to provide redress for all known discrimination, regardless of their migration status or nationality.

Calls on the judicial system in Libya and countries of origin of those migrants held in slavery, to react rapidly using complaint mechanisms, judicial assistance and victim protection systems, with the support of civil society, human rights defenders and national human rights institutions.

Calls on Libyan immigration authorities to, in all instances, ensure that procedures concerning undocumented migrants fully respect the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, and to further that a migrant is only placed in detention for an immigration related infraction as a measure of last resort, and completely cease the immigration-related detention of migrant children consistent with the best interest of the child principle.

Calls, in the case of women and child migrants who are victims of slavery, trafficking and the sale of persons in Libya, to be given priority to ensure their protection, in particular from their aggressors, while respecting their cultural identity and in protecting their mental, sexual and reproductive health from the moment they are received by authorities responsible for combatting irregular migration, until return to their homes with the assistance of their consulate or diplomatic missions.
Salutes efforts undertaken by the authorities to stop the crimes committed against migrants in Libya underlining the need to strengthen their efforts and resources.

Insists that proposed solutions are sustainable throughout all stages of migration, including departure, transit, destination and return, combatting structural causes of forced migration, to provide security and guarantee the dignity of migrant workers and members of their families in the region.

The Committee recalls that the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families is a fundamental pillar to elaborate laws, rules, public policies and programmes to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers and members of their families in all States.  It is urgent that each right under this treaty is given effect and that United Nations officials act upon the complaints regarding the human rights of migrants in Libya and the region.  It is also important to denounce Governments and authorities who do not respect their international engagements undertaken in relation to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and other international human rights treaties.