The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office in Libya has issued a new statement alerting to the conditions of the detention of migrants in the country. UNICEF said that “751 women and 255 children were among the thousands of migrants and asylum seekers caught up in the recent mass arrests in the capital.” The “safety and well-being” of these women and children, including five unaccompanied and at least 30 infants, are “in immediate danger.”
Cristina Brugiolo, UNICEF’s interim Special Representative in Libya, said that “migrant and refugee children in Libya continue to be victims of grave child rights violations, including arbitrary detention.” UNICEF called on the Libyan authorities to release, “protect children and prevent their separation from their parents, guardians and families.”
In early October, Libyan police carried out a major operation in a poor neighbourhood of the capital where at least 5,000 migrants and refugees were arrested. According to the authorities, this operation was part of the national fight against drugs.
Last Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that Libyan guards shot dead six sub-Saharan migrants in the overcrowded Al-Mabani detention centre.