C. Migrants

43. While Libya is a party to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, its legislation and practice are not in line with international and regional standards for migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers. Libya criminalizes irregular migration and has no asylum determination system.

44. UNSMIL/OHCHR has found that migrants in Libya face a host of violations and abuses, both in and outside detention.5 Perpetrators include State officials, armed groups and individuals. The State has not been able to ensure effective protection for migrants in Libya.

45. Migrants in Libya are highly vulnerable, facing arbitrary detention in inhuman conditions; torture, including sexual violence; abduction for ransom; extortion; forced labour; and killings. Those held in official detention centres run by the Department for Combating Illegal Migration under the Ministry of the Interior are held arbitrarily, with no judicial process, in violation of Libyan law and international human rights standards. Armed groups, smugglers and traffickers hold others in unofficial places of detention. SubSaharan Africans are especially vulnerable to abuse as a result of racial discrimination. Migrant women are also at particular risk of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

46. UNSMIL/OHCHR has documented inhuman conditions in detention centres managed by the Department for Combating Illegal Migration. Detainees are often held in warehouses with appalling sanitary conditions, little space to lie down and extremely limited access to light, ventilation or washing facilities. It has received reports of guards denying access to toilets, forcing migrants to urinate and defecate within the overcrowded warehouses in which they are kept. In some centres, migrants suffer from severe malnutrition, receiving on average around one third of the minimum daily intake of calories required by adult men, leading to or contributing to deaths. It has also received numerous and consistent reports of torture, including beatings and sexual violence, and the forced labour of detainees.

47. On 1 April, 4 migrants were killed in Al-Nasr detention facility in Al-Zawiya and approximately 20 injured following an apparent escape attempt. One guard was injured. Médecins sans Frontières said that on 17 August unidentified armed men attacked its boat that rescues migrants in international waters, shooting at the bridge and boarding the boat. The Libyan Coast Guard acknowledged encountering the boat, but claimed that they only shot in the air and denied boarding it. On 21 October, a man from a speedboat with “Libyan Coast Guard” written on it reportedly attacked a rubber boat carrying 150 migrants, 14 nautical miles out to sea, causing it to collapse and the migrants to fall into the sea. After the attack, a non-governmental organization, Sea-Watch, was able to rescue 120 persons and recovered 4 bodies. A further 26 persons are presumed dead. Reportedly, Libyan naval forces in Tripoli denied the attack, but admitted an encounter with Sea-Watch on the same day, claiming that it was in Libyan waters.”