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Parliamentary questions
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27 July 2020
E-002685/2020(ASW)
Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002685/2020

The EU has continuously advocated with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) for access to detention centres for its international partners present on the ground in Libya, notably the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and their implementing partners, including in the context of the African Union-EU-UN Taskforce on Migration.

Since the end of 2019, the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), which acts under the authority of the Ministry of Interior, has de-listed several detention centres, which are partially empty. As of early July 2020, Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) indicates that there are 11 official migrant detention centres under the management of the DCIM. In the current ongoing conflict and resulting security situation, the situation remains, however, fluid. Therefore, a precise overview can currently not be given with regard to unofficial centres and locations where migrants may be held clandestinely.

Migrant detention centres in Libya and the decision to arbitrarily detain migrants rests under the sole responsibility of the GNA. The Commission does not support Libya’s detention system. Accordingly, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa does not fund the country’s detention centres. However, through its partners, the Commission does provide lifesaving support to detained migrants, including Voluntary Humanitarian Return to the country of departure, non-food items, medical assistance, cleaning, as well as fumigation and disinfection to prevent diseases from spreading inside the centres.

IOM supports the authorities to develop registration systems for the centres to enhance protection of vulnerable migrants and their access to services. Finally, UNHCR regularly registers its persons of concern inside detention centres.

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