Libya: MEPs to assess situation at detention centres and role of coastguard

The conditions at Libyan detention centres and the procedures used by the country’s coastguard in sea rescues will be the focus of a committee debate on Thursday.

MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries will assess the conditions facing migrants in Libya against the backdrop of the general situation in the country, with representatives of the European External Action Service and the European Commission.

In a second session, they will delve into what is happening in detention centres and analyse the procedures used by the Libyan coastguard when returning migrants rescued at sea, based on testimonies from representatives of UNHCR, IOM, Médecins sans Frontières and the International Rescue Committee.


According to UNHCR, Libya hosts over 45,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, in addition to hundreds of thousands of people displaced internally due to the violence and instability in the country, and unregistered, mostly African, migrants. More than 4,400 refugees and migrants are currently held in detention centres, on occasion targeted by deadly airstrikes.

So far in 2019, the IOM estimates that 9,944 people reached Italy from Libya, while 695 persons died attempting the crossing and 8,309 were returned to the country.

Within the framework of the AU-EU-UN Taskforce, the EU is contributing to the UN agencies’ efforts to move people out of Libya. Since September 2017, over 4,000 people have been evacuated, mostly to Niger (to await further resettlement) but also to Italy, Romania and lately to Rwanda.

When: Thursday, 21 November, from 9.00 to 11.30

Where: European Parliament in Brussels, Antall building, room 2Q2

You can follow the hearing live.