The dream of many immigrants in Libya is not Europeby Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.10.03
In the army of immigrants blocked by Libyans, there is a component that few know of and no-one speaks about. Consisting of those who don’t dream of Europe and dream only of returning home but don’t have the means to do so. They number thousands, coming for the most part from sub-Sahara Africa. Having worked for years in the Libyan building and petroleum sectors, after the death of Gheddafi they were left bereft of skills. We asked Eugenio Ambrosi, Regional Director for Europe of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) that works in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help these people exit from the Libyan dead end, to shed light on this invisible population who never make the headlines.
What is the situation in Libya now?
The country is unstable, fragile and insecure. It is mainly the immigrants, internal displaced people and many everyday Libyan citizens who are paying the price for this. We work on a daily basis with the United Nations and the local authorities to guarantee them assistance and protection. The main challenge in this stage is to make Southern Libya more stable.
Is it the case that in Libya many immigrants dream of returning to their country rather than moving to Europe, but do not have the economic means to do so?
Undoubtedly. So much so that the IOM programme for voluntary repatriation has been extended to respond to the mountain of requests by immigrants to organise and sustain the cost of the return journey from Libya to the country of origin. They often have to address bureaucratic as well as economic difficulties. Many immigrants, particularly those living in rural Libyan areas, are in fact not able to get into contact with their Embassy in Libya to obtain the documents that they need for repatriation. This is behind the IOM’s recent decision to start an “On-line Consulate” that we hope can speed up the issuing procedure for travel documents.
How many immigrants have been involved to date in you repatriation programme?
From the beginning of 2017, we have helped 8,100 people coming from 24 countries. The goal is to reach 12,000 by the end of 2017. For this reason, we have decided to extend our programme to voluntary repatriations.
What changed for the IOM after the Summit on Immigration in Paris on the 28 August 2017 that brought together European and African leaders?
It offered significant political support to a complexity of activities and initiatives that the IOM has already put in place thanks to generous funding from the EU and the countries that are part of it. However, this is not all. To this, we should add, as stated in the conclusion of the Summit, the promise of support to the work of the IOM in Libya to build dignified infrastructure for refugees and immigrants and look into forms of assistance other than detention in the traditional holding centres.
Illegal immigrant traffickers now set their sights on the Black Sea
After the closure of the Balkan and Libyan routes, that of the Black Sea is opened. On the rise, in fact, is the number of foreigners who embark at Turkey to reach Romania via sea. These numbered 3,000 at the beginning of 2017 compared to 1,624 in 2016. Mostly Iraqis, Read More.
After Brexit and Trump the left behinds shake up Germany
After the victory in England of Brexit and the landslide of Trump in the United States, the shakeup of the recent elections in Germany confirms that in the leading companies of the industrial West that which Ronald Inghelart and Pippa Norris have brilliantly defined as a “silent revolution on the Read More.
Alternative für Detschland – what is it and where did it come from
For the first time since WWII, with the slogan “Germany First” that comes very close to the “America First” of Donald Trump, a right-wing party has entered the German Parliament. At the political elections held yesterday in Germany, Alternative für Deutschland (AFD) in fact won 12.4% of the vote and Read More.
Pope Francesco: govern immigration to create integration
Who knows if those who a few days ago who called Minniti “copper” for having blocked the uncontrolled flux of immigration arrivals from Libya will say the same to the Pope. Who on his return from Colombia made it perfectly clear that a good immigration strategy is one that regulates Read More.
The future of immigration is played out on the African table
It’s official. Thanks to the Court of Justice of the European Union, it is now clear, that the “no” of the countries of Eastern Europe to the redistribution of refugees arrived in Italy and Greece is based on one thing: political egoism. A truth that for Carlotta Sam, spokesperson of Read More.
Disembarkations decline and the NGOs keep quiet
It seems that a century has passed since December 2016 when in these columns we denounced the noble ignorance of NGOS of the that whilst saving lives in the Mediterranean were feeding the business of human trafficking. At the time, a number of exponents of associationism accused us of spreading Read More.