European Parliament: situation of migrants and rescue operations in Libya up for discussion

November 28, 2018
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The situation of migrants in Libya and the conditions under which the Libyan coast guard is conducting rescue operations was up for debate in the European Parliament this week.

MEPs tried to get clarification from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the newly created Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean (SAROBMED) about Libya being assigned a Search and Rescue area in the Mediterranean. Being in charge of managing a SAR area implies that vessels carrying migrants and refugees can be ordered to disembark in Libya.

Representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also updated the committee on the situation of migrants and asylum seekers stranded in Libya, particularly in detention centres, and on the progress of the programme for Voluntary Humanitarian Return to countries of origin, managed by this UN agency.

Finally, the EP Legal Service presented the MEPs with their views on the lawfulness of the “regional disembarkation platforms” and “controlled centres” proposed by the European Council last June as a means to improve the processing of migrants and refugee flows into the EU.


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Press release

Countries covered:

  • Libya