Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN document A/HRC/31/47

“The present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 28/30, has been prepared on the basis of an investigation carried out by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It describes widespread violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and abuses of human rights, perpetrated by all parties to the conflict in Libya throughout 2014 and 2015. The report also describes the situation of human rights defenders, journalists, migrants, the Tawerghan community and children, and the administration of justice in Libya in this context. It also provides an assessment of the justice sector, and describes initiatives towards accountability.

In the report, OHCHR also provides an update on technical assistance and capacity-building provided to support key institutions and civil society organisations. It concludes the report with recommendations addressed to all parties to the conflict, the Government, the international community, the Human Rights Council and the Security Council. ”

section I. deals with migrants

“51. Subject to exploitation and abuse by authorities, armed groups and smugglers, migrants are particularly at risk in Libya. Cases of prolonged arbitrary detention and other deprivation of liberty, torture and ill-treatment, forced labour and exploitative labour practices, extortion, trafficking and sexual violence, were all reported in the interviews conducted by OHCHR. Sub-Saharan Africans are at a heightened risk of abuse and racial discrimination. Migrant women have faced sexual violence and exploitation both in and outside detention facilities.

52.        Libya has long had a considerable population of migrant workers. It is also a transit country on the migration routes from East and West Africa to Europe. UNHCR estimate that between January to mid-October 2015, more than 140,000 individuals arrived in Italy by sea, the majority of whom departed from Libya.

53. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 3,770 individuals died in 2015 attempting to cross the Mediterranean.[1] Many of the journeys are undertaken on dangerously overcrowded and ill-equipped boats, often resulting in scores of deaths. In addition to death by drowning, suffocation due to the conditions on board was also reported. A Sudanese woman who took the boat from Zuwara to Italy in August 2015 informed OHCHR that 35 individuals, forced to sit in a room on the lower deck with no ventilation, had perished on her boat.

54. A large number of migrants are currently detained in Libya without access to judicial review. According to UNHCR and IOM, as at 4 May 2015, there were at least 3,245 migrants detained in facilities in western Libya alone, including 329 women and 34 children.[2] Detention conditions are inadequate, often characterized by chronic overcrowding, poor sanitation and health care, and insufficient food. Violence is endemic. A Nigerian man held in a centre in Gheryan reported: “a man spilled his soup. One of the guards took out a gun and shot him dead”. OHCHR received credible information concerning the incidence of sexual and gender-based violence against migrants both in detention centres and outside, as well as an increase in female victims of trafficking arriving in Europe through Libya.”