UN to open transit centre in Tripoli

Photo credit: UNHCR/Iason Foounten. A group of people gather inside a detention facility holding refugees and migrants in Tripoli.

TMP – 12/11/2017

The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) is planning to open a transit centre in Tripoli to resettle or evacuate each year as many as 5,000 of the most vulnerable refugees and migrants stuck in Libya.

Roberto Mignone, the UNHCR representative for Libya, said on 29 September to Reuters that they “hope to have the (written) authorization soon.” The U.N.-backed Tripoli government has already approved the project verbally.

According to an earlier UNHCR statement, the agency aims to set up an open reception centre that will accommodate 1,000 people and will allow migrants and refugees freedom of movement, giving priority to the most vulnerable among them.

UNHCR wants to provide registration, accommodation, food, social services, counselling and support to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and solutions in third countries for the most vulnerable.
The transit centre is being set up in a former immigration police training facility and will be opened with the aim of resettling about 5,000 people every year.

Currently, many migrants in Libya are held in detention centres where conditions are described as “appalling” and “inhumane”. UNHCR is providing assistance in detention centres and has also secured the release of around 1,000 refugees and migrants from the centres.
A contingent of 230 Nepalese troops is expected to arrive this week and deploy at the site of the centre, which is planned to be operational in November.
As many countries do not have a permanent diplomatic presence in Tripoli, resettlement is complex. UNHCR said it will try to evacuate most of the refugees and migrants to emergency transit centres in Romania, Slovakia or even Costa Rica from where they will apply for resettlement.