News / Africa

Libyan Crisis Highlighted Migrant Workers Plight

Migrant workers, who used to work in Libya and fled the recent unrest in the country, are seen in a refugee camp at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, March 9, 2011. (AP Image)
Migrant workers, who used to work in Libya and fled the recent unrest in the country, are seen in a refugee camp at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, March 9, 2011. (AP Image)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The 2011 Libyan crisis raised awareness of the plight migrant workers face when caught in the middle of conflict. The International Organization for Migration says comprehensive, long-term plans are needed to avoid similar humanitarian and economic problems to those that developed during and after the Libyan uprising. The IOM call for a better response comes on International Migrants Day (12/18).


More than 200,000 migrants were evacuated from Libya in 2011. Most were from poor countries who had gone to Libya to find work. Some were documented, many were not.

IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said the issue of migrants in the midst of conflict or natural disasters is not a new one.

“I spent the summer of 2006 in Lebanon. And at the time we were evacuating mostly female domestic workers from the Philippines or Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and the rest. And I remember at the time how difficult it was to basically raise awareness of the protection and evacuation needs of those migrant workers.”

Chauzy said while the evacuation of migrant workers from Libya received international funding and was a success, it exposed some problems.

“A year on we have to recognize the fact that little attention has been paid to the reintegration needs of those returning migrants. These are migrants returning to food insecure areas. They’re coming back empty-handed. The remittances they used to send back to families have now stopped,” he said.

The Libyan crisis also had wide-ranging regional economic consequences.

“A country like Chad or Niger managed to get a loan from the World Bank to offer some kind of financial reintegration for those returning migrants. All the other countries that were affected by the Libyan conflict have suffered,” said Chauzy.

While much attention was given to thousands of migrants making their way to Europe, many more crossed Libyan borders into neighboring countries.

“Very often the plight of migrants comes very last when responses are being organized in reaction to conflicts or man-made disasters. Yet, we know that we live in a world of global mobility when more and more people are on the move, more and more migrants are on the move. There’s very little understanding that stranded migrants, minors, victims of human trafficking, who are also vulnerable, deserve also not just evacuation assistance, but also protection assistance,” he said.

The International organization for Migration is seeking widespread support for its Migration Crisis Operational Framework. It says the framework “addresses the needs of people crossing borders, who are not covered under current international protection because their displacement is not related to persecution.”

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid