Article by Andrea de Guttry, , Francesca Capone* and Emanuele Sommario of theScuola Superiore SantAnna, Pisa – published in International migration, the periodical of the International Organization for Migration.

Dealing with the current ow of migrants ocking to the shores of southern European countries remains high on the international agenda. At the end of 2016, 276,957 migrants were waiting in Libya to cross the sea. Many of them were subject to human rights violations and abuses such as arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, sexual exploitation and even slavery. The international response has been, so far, insufcient and new ideas and practices are urgently needed. After providing an overview of the legal framework and of the efforts carried out by the relevant international and regional organizations, this article focuses on recent treaties concluded between Italy and Libya, and argues that the new bilateral agreements represent an example of how States are responding to this challenge in an attempt to strike a balance between the need to strengthen the protection of migrants rights and the necessity to guarantee the security of national borders.”