Migrants on a boat after they were intercepted by Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean | Photo: EPA/Stringer
Migrants on a boat after they were intercepted by Libyan coastguard in the Mediterranean | Photo: EPA/Stringer

It is unacceptable for migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean to be brought back to Libya, Save the Children said in a recent statement. They believe that Libya "cannot be considered a place of safety."

On June 9, three boats with about 200 migrants on board, including many children, were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard, which brought them back to Tripoli. The operation was reportedly documented by the aircraft Moonbird from the NGO Sea Watch.

Commenting on this incident, Raffaela Milano, director of Italy-Europe programs for Save the Children, said his organisation considers it "unacceptable that women, men, and children continue to be brought back to a country where, due to the conflict still underway, continuous violations of human rights and children's rights remain and have become worse."

'Libya is not a place of safety'

"In no case can Libya be considered a place of safety, to which, therefore, no repatriations or transfers of adults or children should be made," the children's rights organization said in a statement. He said that fundamental rights are continously violated in Libyan detention centers. He said that many boys and girls are subjected to "forms of violence of all kinds, as confirmed by reports by the United Nations and the accounts of those who manage to leave the country."

Save the Children also called for a change in European migration policy. "A coordinated rescue and protection mechanism must be activated as soon as possible between member states, creating legal and safe access routes from areas of crisis or transit to protect those who, every day, risk and too often lose their lives," the organization said.

 

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