The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Monday that 42 illegal migrants were returned to Libya, an illegal migrant’s body was recovered, and 23 others reportedly went missing.
“42 shipwreck survivors have just been returned to Tripoli by Libyan Coast Guard.
UNHCR and International Rescue Committee treating survivors suffering from burns in different parts of their bodies,” UNHCR tweeted.
The UNHCR demanded that “human smugglers and trafficking networks that take advantage of these vulnerable asylum seekers and migrants” be prosecuted and brought to justice. The state of insecurity and chaos in Libya following the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 has encouraged thousands of migrants to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards European shores.
According to the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR, migrants and refugees in Libya continue to be subjected to arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, exploitation and violence, conditions that push them to take risky journeys especially sea crossings that may end up with fatal consequences.
Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.