5 July 2018

Libya: IOM Chief Arrives in Libya to Advocate for Migrants' Rights

Photo: IOM
Director General William Lacy Swing meets Libya Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj

Ambassador William Lacy Swing, International Organization for Migration Director General, arrived in Tripoli this morning (04/07) to visit the survivors of the latest migration tragedy off Libya's shores, and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj.

Over the weekend an estimated 218 migrants lost their lives in double tragedies. A boat packed with migrants capsized off Al Khums, east of Tripoli on Sunday (01/07). An estimated 41 people survived after the rescue, but roughly 100 people were reported missing by the Libyan Coast Guard after this shipwreck. On Saturday some 104 lives were lost in another mass drowning, including those of three babies who were being brought to Europe.

Moreover, IOM's Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded since 18 June some 483 fatalities off Libya, including these

29 June: 6 bodies recovered in Al Maya, 2 bodies recovered in Sayiad

24 June: 4 reported missing by 97 migrants rescued off the coast of Libya according to LCG.

21 June: 26 bodies recovered in multiple locations on the Libyan coast

20 June:

50 people reported missing by UNHCR off the coast of Garabuli

1 body recovered during SAR off the coast of Al Hamidiyah. 82 survivors reported by LCG

19 June:

95 missing/5 survivors reported by UNHCR

70 missing/60 survivors off the coast of Dela reported by UNHCR

6 bodies recovered from shipwreck near Al Maya, 50 survivors reported by LCG

18 June: 5 bodies recovered in shipwreck near Melittah/Tripoli, 115 survivors reported by LCG

"I've just returned to Libya after a series of tragedies and the loss of hundreds of migrant lives including several babies," said Amb. Swing upon arrival. "My message is that all must focus on saving lives and protecting migrant rights."

This is Amb. Swing's third visit to Libya in recent months and upon arrival he was due to meet representatives from Prime Minister Sarraj's government. Tomorrow he will visit migrants held in detention centres - IOM has been advocating for the closure of these centres because of their failure to respect migrants rights. Amb. Swing has also insisted that women and children be separated from the detainees as a minimum first step.

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