A recent incident of a migrant setting himself afire has brought to light the failure of the United Nations to take decent care of migrants in Libya.
The incident happened in one of 12 detention centers run in western Libya nominally run by the government in Tripoli. Condition there is deplorable, as most media reports now are exposing it. Women and men are locked up in rooms with no ventilation, as cattle with no access to water, food or sanitation facilities.
The deceased was survived by a wife and both were asylum seekers to be featured in the list of those allowed to move out of Libya next month. But repeated rejections lead the man to lose hope and take his own life.
Currently, about 800,000 migrants and 50,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers are living in Libya. The European Union has tightened measures to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean.
Like them, many have moved out of Somalia to come towards Tripoli to go towards Europe in the hope of a better future. Many are caught at sea, trying to escape the war-torn country of Somalia and then transported to detention centers in Tripoli, where they have been waiting for asylum for years together.
In the first three months of 2019, some 15,900 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe via Mediterranean routes – a 17% decrease on the same period in 2018. Global migration is becoming a huge problem for European countries.
War-torn nations like Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan to name a few are forcing people to flee for better living conditions. The EU has made a media statement stating that it “does not seek to stop global migration, but works with international partners to manage international migration, protect migrants’ human rights, prevent perilous irregular journeys exploited by illegal human traffickers and ensure opportunities for legal and safe pathways”.
There is no denying that global migration has to be addressed via numerous channels and in a multilateral approach. However, the UN and its sister concerns still have to work out some mechanism to create that safety net for such citizens that are tired of living in conditions of war and terrorism.