This report was published by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“The situation of migrants in Libya is a human rights crisis. The breakdown in the justice system has led to a state of impunity, in which armed groups, criminal gangs, smugglers and traffickers control the flow of migrants through the country. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has also received credible information that some members of State institutions and some local officials have participated in the smuggling and trafficking process. Libya is a destination and transit country for migrants. Many suffer human rights violations and abuses in the course of their journeys. They are subjected to arbitrary detention, torture, other ill-treatment, unlawful killings, sexual exploitation, and a host of other human rights abuses. Migrants are also exploited as forced labour and suffer extortion by smugglers, traffickers, as well as members of State institutions. Women migrants are the most exposed, amidst numerous and consistent reports of rape and other sexual violence.

Migrants are held arbitrarily in detention centres run mostly by the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). They are brought to the centres where there is no formal registration, no legal process, and no access to lawyers or judicial authorities. Conditions in detention are generally inhuman: severely overcrowded, without adequate access to toilets or washing facilities, food, or clean water. In several detention centres visited by UNSMIL, migrants were observed in large numbers in a single room without even sufficient space to lie down. Amidst severe challenges faced by the health sector in Libya as a result of the conflict, some hospitals have refused to treat migrants, citing a lack of payment and fear of infectious diseases. Information received by UNSMIL shows a consistent and widespread pattern of guards beating, humiliating and extorting migrants, including by taking money for their release. A number of migrants interviewed by UNSMIL had sustained gunshot or knife injuries; several migrants had visible wounds and head injuries.”