GNU and Europeans discuss labour migration and cross-border crime

Nov 16, 2023 | International actors

On 16 November, IOM Libya co-hosted a roundtable on Labour Migration Governance with the Government of National Unity (GNU) Ministry of Labour and Rehabilitation which brought together various Libyan and international participants, including the Ambassadors of Italy and the European Union. Key discussion points included evaluating cooperation mechanisms, tackling identity documentation challenges for foreign workers, ensuring the successful implementation of bilateral agreements, and exploring potential regional mechanisms.

The same day, the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Libya had a meeting with the Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Major General Mahmoud Ashour, and officials from the Ministry of Interior and MoFA. The discussions focused on how to support the CID in ‘enhancing its capacity in fighting against cross-border crime, including human trafficking and migrant smuggling, through technical advice and capacity building activities.’

Also on 16 November, the ‘X’ account ‘Refugees in Libya’ shared videos of migrants in Libya being beaten and tortured by smugglers in Libya as a means to extract ransoms from family members. On 21 November, the Italian Interior Ministry revealed that 47,300 illegal migrants have arrived in Italy from Libya this year. Notably, about 30,000 of these migrants left from the western region, while the rest arrived from the eastern region.

The humanitarian situation for migrants in Libya and attempting to reach Europe via the Central Mediterranean route remains dire. According to IOM Libya, from 12 to 18 November 2023, 662 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya. So far in 2023, 4,894 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya, and there have been 940 deaths and 1,248 people missing on the Central Mediterranean route.