Italy wants to conclude a new treaty with Libya: it plans to strengthen the protection of migrants

Italy submitted a text to the Government of Libya amending the 2017 cooperation agreement on migration. The text presents important innovations to protect migrants and victims of traffickers in Libya.

Italy wants to conclude a new treaty with Libya: it plans to strengthen the protection of migrants

The purpose of the amendments is to combat the phenomenon of migration in accordance with the principles of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and other international human rights standards, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday in Rome. The role of international organizations such as UN, UNHCR and International Organization for Migration (IOM) should be strengthened.

The agreement between Italy and Libya regulates the fight against illegal migration through the Mediterranean Sea. It was signed three years ago and is regularly criticized by human rights defenders as migrants were often intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to the country of civil war. Italy had only automatically renewed its cooperation agreement with Libya a few weeks earlier.

In the past three years since the agreement had entered into force, more than 40,000 people had been returned to Libya. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, also condemned the agreement. Other organizations, such as Médecins sans Frontières, have also criticized the renewal of the agreement.

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