Libyan government calls for international support for the 700,000 irregular migrants in Libya at pan-African migration forum

Around 707,000 irregular migrants are currently in Libya and only 7,000 of them are housed in purpose-built centres, according to the Chief of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Libya. Colonel Mabrouk Abdulhafid shared these figures at the 5th African Forum on Migration, which took place between 14 and 16 September in Cairo, Egypt. 

At the forum, Abdulhafid called for international support for the hundreds of thousands of migrants in Libya. The African Union (AU) also urged African governments and institutions to collaborate more on migration governance, as well as to implement policies that will reduce irregular migration. 

Cisse Mariama, Director of the AU Department of Social Affairs, called on “all partners to spare no efforts to bring every stakeholder on board at national, regional and continental levels to ensure that there is synergy in their work.”

Collaboration amongst African states and actors in the migration sector “will go a long way in providing evidence-based policymaking and also shaping informed public discourse and narratives on African migration as noted in the Global Compact for Migration,” Mariama said.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Strengthening Migration Data and Research for Evidence-based Policy Development and Implementation: Towards Effective Migration Governance in Africa.’  The three-day forum was run in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Since 2015, many Africans have tried to migrate to Europe irregularly. This year, at least 970 people have died in the Mediterranean attempting to reach Europe through transit countries such as Libya.

TMP 07/10/2019

Photo credit: Brookings.edu

Photo caption: Migrants in detention across Libya

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