50,000 migrants left Libya for home countries: IOM

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Rescued migrants sit in a coast guard point in Khoms, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Libyan capital Tripoli, on August 27, 2019, after they were saved off the coast of the Libyan city. - The bodies of five migrants including a Moroccan child were recovered off Libya's coast Tuesday while up to 20 others were missing after a Europe-bound boat sank, the navy said. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
TRIPOLI, LIBYA – FEBRUARY 14: A group of deportee illegal immigrants wait before boarding to a plane, heading to Nigeria during their deportation at Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya on February 14, 2017. Approximately 171 Nigerian illegal immigrants are deported after the official process. (Photo by Hazem Turkia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday said over 50,000 migrants have voluntarily returned to their countries of origin from Libya since 2015.

“Over 50,000 migrants received IOM Libya’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance since 2015. The Voluntary Humanitarian Return flights continued to assist hundreds of people every month despite security challenges,” IOM said.

“Migrants voluntarily returned to 44 countries of origins across Africa and Asia. Prior to their departure, all migrants received medical screening to assess their fitness to travel,” IOM added.

Returnees are eligible to receive IOM’s reintegration assistance once they arrive home, including vocational training and economic support, the organization said.

The IOM runs the Voluntary Humanitarian Return program, which arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.

There are more than 650,000 illegal immigrants currently staying in Libya, including about 6,000 being held in detention centers, the IOM estimated.

These illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled the late leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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