from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – THE interception of about 500 Europe-bound migrants and refugees is worsening the crisis in Libya, where thousands have been arrested.
Libya’s Coast Guard intercepted a boat on Sunday, two days after authorities arrested foreign nationals amid widespread security operations in the Tripoli area of Gargaresh.
The International Organization of Migration (IOM) reports that at least 5 152 have been detained as of this week.
These include 215 children and 751 women, of whom 30 are pregnant.
“This number is expected to increase as security operations are still ongoing,” said a spokesperson of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The agency raised concern migrants and refugees in Libya, especially children, are highly vulnerable to protection risks, including arbitrary detention and human rights violations.
Inside detention centres run by the Ministry of Interior, children often share overcrowded cells with adults.
More than 1 000 migrant and refugee children in Libya out of the estimated 597 611 migrants as of June 20211 are unaccompanied.
Also, figures further show that 25 285 migrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea between January and September 2021.
This surpasses the total number of migrants intercepted in entire 2020.
Since the beginning of this year, 917 children (283 girls, 634 boys) were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya.
Most of them were subject to arbitrary detention.
– CAJ News