RefugePoint is Deeply Saddened by Air Raid in Libya That Has Killed Dozens at Tripoli Migrant Detention Centre

RefugePoint is deeply saddened by the deaths of at least 44 people following an air strike on detention center in Tripoli, Libya, where refugees and migrants were being held. At least 130 people were injured in the attack, and UNHCR reported that the death toll could rise following the “preliminary assessment”.

Tens of thousands of refugees, from Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia, including large numbers of unaccompanied children, are risking their lives in the hands of human traffickers as they escape persecution and attempt to migrate to Europe from Libya via the Mediterranean Sea. Many are detained by smugglers in dangerous and even deadly detention centers where some are held for ransom and tortured. Many lack access to basic sanitation, food, and water.

RefugePoint staff members have been working alongside the UN Refugee Agency on the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) to evacuate refugees, including many unaccompanied minors, from dangerous detention centers in Libya, like the one hit by today’s attack, to a safe center in Niamey, Niger. Once in Niger, the refugees are processed for resettlement to Canada, the U.S., or European Union countries.

This horrific event is an indicator that the Libyan situation is rapidly deteriorating and an escalated response by both the humanitarian community and resettlement country governments is necessary to ensure the safety and dignity of those trapped in detention. RefugePoint stands in solidarity with the people affected by this tragedy as well as our staff and colleagues working tirelessly to help.