By Libya Herald staff.
Cairo, 29 August 2014:
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is worried about the vulnerability of migrant workers caught up in . . .[restrict]Libya’s instability.
IOM is also concerned that the conflict could lead to an increased number of migrants attempting to cross to Europe by boat.
“As Libya’s instability has increased, so its borders have become ever more porous”an IOM official in Cairo has told the Libya Herald. He said there had been a significant increase in the number of migrants trying to make the trip across the Mediterranean this year.
Libya’s coastline has dozens of potential points of departure for boats loaded with illegal immigrants. Tragically, the almost weekly news about sinkings and rescues does not seem to deter more from trying to cross.
Migrants remaining in Tripoli have suffered casualties. According to IOM, ten Sudanese were killed just last week in Krimea when their residence was hit by a stray missile. The group estimates that 15,000 Sudanese live in Tripoli districts that were scenes of heavy fighting.
The IOM is also worried for migrants in detention centres, saying that conditions are deteriorating. Most of the 18 centres are operational, but are experiencing shortages of key supplies. Some have begun releasing detainees because they cannot afford to provide basic necessities.
As other countries scramble to coordinate more evacuations of their nationals, IOM has located 2,000 Pakistanis who want to be repatriated and are sheltering in a school in central Tripoli. The IOM found the Pakistanis to be in need of food and medical care and living in overcrowded conditions. It says it is working with the Libyan Red Crescent to improve sanitation at the site and arranging the delivery of food, water and hygiene kits.
Unfortunately, it says, its 25 staff members in Tripoli frequently have to work from home, since they are unable to move freely around the city.
The IOM is also concerned about the psychosocial needs of migrants, saying that they are providing an intensive 6-day training course for Libyan NGOs and local councils, equipping at least 40 social workers to provide psychosocial support. [/restrict]