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Italy says EU will take in 10,000 stranded refugees from Libya in 2018 via ‘humanitarian corridors’

AFP-JIJI/ Rome Up to 10,000 people stranded in refugee camps and detention centers in Libya could be relocated to Europe in 2018, the Italian government said on Sunday. The initiative would be part of an attempt by


Up to 10,000 people stranded in refugee camps and detention centers in Libya could be relocated to Europe in 2018, the Italian government said on Sunday.

The initiative would be part of an attempt by EU countries to address the deteriorating conditions in Libya, where thousands of people are held captive in inhumane conditions.

“In 2018, up to 10,000 refugees will be able to come to Europe without risk, through humanitarian corridors,” Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said in an interview with the newspaper La Repubblica.

The announcement comes after a group of 162 “vulnerable” people, from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen, were evacuated from Libya and arrived by military plane in Rome on Friday.

The group included single mothers, unaccompanied children and disabled people, and was the first time refugees and migrants had been relocated directly to Europe by the U.N.’s refugee agency (UNHCR).

About 400,000 migrants are in Libya, including roughly 36,000 children, the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said earlier this month.

In 2018, the IOM aims to repatriate 30,000 migrants to their home countries as part of a voluntary return program.

Around 15,000 have been sent back this year.

“In accordance with the objectives of the International Organization for Migration, 30,000 migrants without right to asylum will be able to be repatriated to their countries on a voluntary basis” in 2018, Minniti said.

“With the help of the Libyan authorities, we have constructed a new management model on the other side of the Mediterranean.”

Libya has long been a transit hub for migrants seeking a better life in Europe, but people smugglers have stepped up their lucrative business since the chaos following the 2011 revolution.

Last month, U.S. television network CNN broadcast video footage appearing to show migrants being sold as slaves near the Libyan capital Tripoli, sparking international outrage.

International organizations are now able to “visit reception centers and improve their living conditions,” Minniti said, adding that the conditions were currently “unacceptable.

Italy also needs to take “credible” measures to work with the Libyan coast guard to better control the “illegal” influx of migrants arriving by sea, he said.

Sea arrivals to Italy are down a third this year, from almost 180,000 people in 2016 to just under 119,000 in 2017, which includes nearly 15,000 unaccompanied children, according to UNICEF and IOM.

Hundreds of people also drowned trying to make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean.

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Review overview
  • Danilo December 25, 2017

    Well done Italy and EU countries. above all, UN and Vatican also in front line providing temporary shelter and primary necessities for all on humanitarian basis. I take profit to forward my appeal to USA government follow this example. first, give a chance for those 700 eritreans due to expelled, try by the means of stability programme urging the main actor -dictator to hand power to whom belong. merry Christmas! Thanks

  • amanuel December 26, 2017

    Merry xmas to all. I personally welcome the news and appreciate the kindness and compassion of the italians and europe. What a stark d/c b/n the civilized world leaders and primitive, criminal thugish eritrean and libyan leaders who wish death to their citizens or aflict great pain to their citizens.
    That said, fleeing our country is not a solution but hitting at the tyrrant and hitting hard where it hurts is.

  • Asmara Eritrea December 26, 2017

    The EU should do more than accepting 10,000 refugees when poor countries such as Bangladesh have accepted almost 700,000 refugees in just 4 months. Time the rich countries contribute their fair share to the global poor from where their wealth largely eminates.

  • Tesfai December 28, 2017

    Thank you Italy and the EU. Happy New Year.

    This is the news of the Year 2017 in the Arab Islamic world:
    Slavery of black Africans is still alive in the Islamic Arab world

    ‘They sell Africans over there’: Libya’s slave trade | News | [Aljazeera]

    Nov 28, 2017 – It has been reported that hundreds of people are being auctioned in modern day slave markets in Libya for as little as $400. Libya is the main transit hub for refugees and migrants attempting to reach southern Europe by sea. They are coming from countries like Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Sudan (Darfur) ….

  • Tesfai December 28, 2017

    Breaking News: from the Arab Streets:

    When the Arabic and Islamic people heard about the slavery, abuse and beheading of thousands of African asylum seekers and migrants in Egypt-Sinai, Sudan and especially the slave market in the Arab and Muslim Libya, millions of Arab Muslims went to streets of Cairo, Tripoli, Benghazi, Alexandria, Dubai, West Bank Palestine, Khartoum, Riyadh, Kuwait City, Baghdad, Tunis …. as far as Afghanistan and Pakistan, in all Arab and Muslim lands, to condemn the slavery of Africans in Libya and the Arab world “by the Jews people of Israel”.

    They all asked – “why is Israel and the Jewish people still selling black Africans to slavery? The Arab world must take military action on Israel.”
    We, the Arabic people and their slave Abids are proud of our Arabic masters.


    PS: When will the Arabs and their slave Abids cry for the enslaved Africans to receive proper treatment in the savage Arabic world? or, as usual, will their servants bark back like an obedient dog to protect the name of their savage Arab masters.