UNICEF calls for protection of rescued children migrants in Libya

About 100 migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore". The "Eleonore" took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast./ Getty Images)

Abdulkadir Musse, special representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to Libya, on Saturday called for protection of children migrants who are rescued and returned to Libya.

“The body of a child and a woman among 14 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya washed ashore in Zawya, northwestern Libya. In another incident today, at least 43 migrants drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia,” said Musse.

“UNICEF calls for immediate action to protect the intercepted children by offering appropriate immediate care and durable solutions. There must be collective efforts to provide safer legal alternatives to sea crossing,” he said.

According to UNICEF, since the beginning of 2021, a total of 529 children have been intercepted and returned to the Libyan shores, out of a total of nearly 15,000 people.

The North African country has been mired in insecurity and turmoil since a NATO-backed uprising killed the country’s long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

The rescued migrants have ended up in overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

Leave a Reply