A report by the UN Panel of Experts on Libya raises concern over direct involvement of the Libyan Coast Guard in human rights violations against migrants.

The Panel of Experts on Libya established pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 1973 from  2011, states in its report of June 1 that the Libyan Coast Guard has been directly involved in human rights violations:  “Abuses against migrants were widely reported, including executions, torture and deprivation of food, water and access to sanitation. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) also reported enslavement of sub-Saharan migrants. Smugglers, as well as the Department to Counter Illegal Migration and the coastguard, are directly involved in such grave human rights violations…”

The European Union has taken steps to strengthen its cooperation with Libya in the field of migration control with the Council Conclusions of February, following Commission Recommendations in January and the Malta Declaration. In its report on the Partnership Framework on Migration published this week, the Commission highlights that it will deepen its work with Libya, stressing that a € 90 million package has been adopted to improve conditions on the ground under the EU Trust Fund for Africa and that the three Common Security and Defense Policy activities (EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia, EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya and the EU Liaison and Planning Cell) will continue to work with Libyan authorities to tackle smuggling.

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Photo: (cc) Andres Nieto Porras, 2017