In collaboration with Libyan and international stakeholders, despite the growing operational challenges presented by political and economic instability, displacement and irregular migration, IOM seeks to alleviate suffering through the provision of assistance to crisis-affected populations as well as to advance understanding of the mobility dimensions of crisis; encourage transition and stabilization efforts through migration and uphold the well-being of migrants and Libyan society more broadly. In this dynamic context, IOM's operations remain flexible and adaptable, rooted in participatory and rights-based approaches, with gender and protection mainstreamed across its interventions.
- Migrants in urban settings as well as in detention centres and returned to the Libyan shores
- IDPs who remain in displacement, including IDPs prevented from returning or unwilling to return, IDPs at high risk of protracted displacement, and unsuccessful returnees;
- IDPs in or at risk of secondary displacement;
- IDPs who have returned, but are facing severe living conditions;
- Vulnerable host communities in areas of displacement and communities of return where services are inadequate or overstretched.
Protection of the most vulnerable migrants is crucial in a context such as Libya. IOM works to ensure that migrants requiring specialized assistance are identified and appropriately supported with protection interventions to alleviate their suffering and to maintain human dignity. To this end, IOM will:
- Facilitate access to services and strengthen the assistance to vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and other groups through improved protection monitoring, specialized outreach, referrals, and case management.
- Build the capacity of Libyan authorities, local and international non-governmental organizations, IOM staff and other partners on protection of migrants. including case management and referrals of vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking, survivors of GBV and other groups.
- Continue to provide advocacy to end arbitrary immigration detention and support for alternative solutions to detention including host family and shelter arrangements for particularly vulnerable migrants, including women and children.
- Promote the integrated delivery of protection services to migrants and IDPs through mainstreaming of protection and Accountability to Affected Populations within IOM humanitarian interventions. IOM will also ensure that all staff are trained on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and on how to respond to a disclosure of GBV in a safe manner.
- Provide specialized assistance to unaccompanied and separated children, including best interest assessments and determination to provide safe long-term solutions assistance.
- Provide technical support and assistance to the government to promote the establishment of legal and policy frameworks to counter trafficking in persons.
- Conduct research, data collection, and analysis on trafficking in persons and/or protection concerns in Libya.
- In line with its Protection Mainstreaming guidance and Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC Framework), integrate measures to ensure that the principles of Do No Harm, safety and non-discrimination guide any activity and are adhered to throughout all interventions.
IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return and Reintegration (VHR) programme assists stranded migrants to return home and provides them with support, before and during their travel as well as upon return to their country of origin. VHR is an alternative to a continued irregular presence in the country where a number of protection risks are present, such as the possibility of being detained. Through reintegration packages and support, IOM works to address also the root causes of irregular migration, which are often related to poverty and lack of livelihood opportunities in the country of origin. To this end, IOM will:
- Conduct field visits and outreach sessions in detention centres and urban areas to inform migrants of IOM’s free of charge voluntary return assistance programme as well as identify and register those expressing interest in voluntarily returning to their countries of origin.
- Organize outreach seminars and trainings to migrant community leaders and other relevant stakeholders to enhance two-way communication and direct access to the programme.
- Provide consular support through field visits with diplomatic representatives to detention centres, urban locations, IOM's Tripoli office or virtually with online consular sessions as well as support on obtaining exit visas.
- Organize migrants’ voluntary return to their countries of origin through charter or commercial flights, ensuring that special protection and/or medical assistance is provided in Libya or upon departure to the most vulnerable migrants.
- Conduct medical fit-to-travel checkups as well as pre-departure distribution of clothing and footwear to migrants in detention to assure the most dignified and comfortable return conditions possible.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is chronically neglected in Libya due to underdeveloped community-based and specialized services, shortage of qualified workforce, lack of facilities, and social stigma towards people with mental illness. The situation for migrants and refugees is of particular concern, as they invariably face psychological distress due to their precarious living conditions in Libya, experiences en-route to Libya, or due to mental disorders which require significant MHPSS services. IDPs also face particular psychological distress challenges due to their protracted or multiple displacements. MHPSS services are often closely linked with health and protection interventions to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach when addressing the needs of the migrant population. To this end, IOM will:
- Implement direct MHPSS service provision as awareness-raising, basic counselling, individual/group support and referrals of the most vulnerable migrants at disembarkation points/detention centres and urban locations;
- Provide comprehensive MHPSS care to VoTs, survivors of gender-based violence and people with psychological distress and mental health problems including for IDPs due to their unique vulnerabilities experienced during displacement;
- Build the capacity of Libyan practitioners and MHPSS actors on mental health and psychosocial support interventions in migration, emergency and displacement, and provision of basic and advanced counselling skills;
- Support national coordination mechanisms (IOM chairs the MHPSS TWG): enhanced coordination mechanisms supporting national efforts for service mapping, referrals, data collection, joint studies and assessments.
IOM operates mobile outreach services to reach vulnerable populations in different locations in communities and migrants dwellings, besides supporting some primary health care centres of the Ministry of Health, benefiting migrants and affected host communities.
IOM’s health interventions are crucial and often lifesaving, as for example in the case of armed attacks. In addition to providing primary health care services, lifesaving interventions and specialized health care in hospitals, IOM also conducts pre-departure medical screenings and fitness-to-travel (FTT) screenings for migrants who voluntarily chose to return to their country of origin through IOM's VHR programme.
IOM also supports the revitalization of the health system through targeted and need-based assistance in terms of required equipment, medicines and supplies to selected health facilities and building the capacity of public health professionals, which is vital to address the challenges in the national health system that are both structural and systemic. To this end, IOM will:
- Continue to contribute to the government of Libya and national health partners’ preparedness and response efforts for COVID-19, including at Points of Entry, to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.
- Provide mobile outreach services at multiple locations across Libya and expand medical outreach teams, especially in underserved areas
- Organize capacity building activities for health care workers on the complete package of primary health care, including case management of communicable diseases and specialized emergency medical services through the deployment of emergency medical teams.
- Continue to support risk communication and community engagement targeting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases;
- Improve access to life-saving and essential primary health care services through the provision of medical equipment and supplies to targeted primary and secondary health facilities that provide services to vulnerable migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities;
- Strengthen disease surveillance and event-based surveillance, also focus on establishing COVID-19 contact tracing mechanism for migrants, returnees, IDPs and the host population.
- Provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants in a fair and equitable manner if and when it becomes available and provide potential support such as cold-chain, etc.; support to COVID-19 vaccination will also be provided through the provision of data on migrants (essential to develop vaccination plans), implementation of RCCE campaigns, and training of health care professionals on vaccination.
- Continue to support the District Health Information System and extend support to other primary health care centers (PHCs) and hospitals.
- Facilitate coordination of partners' activities (e.g. capacity building, service provision, referral mechanisms) in order to avoid duplication and promote complementarity and synergies, as co-chair of the Migration Health Sub-Working Group (MH-SWG), in collaboration with the MOH.
IOM will support migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities with direct assistance in the form of shelter and non-food items. To this end, IOM will:
- Conduct rapid field shelter and NFI needs assessments in targeted areas to assess the needs of newly displaced persons, if any, or of returnees to locations formerly affected by conflict;
- Distribute NFIs, hygiene kits and shelter kits, including emergency shelter equipment to migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities; The content of NFI and hygiene kits will be harmonized with the S/NFI and WASH sectors. The kits will also be gender-sensitive to ensure the needs of vulnerable groups are accounted for.
- Activate Cash-Based Interventions where appropriate in lieu of in-kind multi-sectorial assistance e.g. cash or vouchers for shelter, NFIs, medicines, etc.;
- Support returnees and migrants with the rehabilitation of damaged houses through the provision of in-kind assistance or cash support; female- children- and elderly- headed households will be prioritized in the response to ensure increased protection;
- Consult community representatives and local partners to identify the critical needs and needs of vulnerable groups in addition to carrying out targeted needs assessment to verify priorities;
- Consult with communities and local authorities to collectively agree on places and time of distribution to ensure safety, security and accessibility;
- Ensure safe and confidential complaints and response mechanisms are in place to respond to any reported incidents of intimidation, violence and sexual exploitation;
- Conduct post-distribution monitoring to gauge beneficiary satisfaction, appropriateness and usefulness of supplies provided.
In order to support migrants’ access to consular services and facilitate the issuance of travel documents for those wishing to voluntarily return to their countries of origin IOM plans to:
- Enhance the capacity of consular officials in providing timely and effectively consular services to their nationals;
- Support the delivery of consular services by governments without diplomatic missions in Libya through the identification of specific bottlenecks to the issuance of travel documents and tailored support.
IOM will provide urgently needed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance to populations affected by violence, conflict and displacement alongside other vulnerable populations in Libya including detained or stranded migrants and refugees in detention centres and urban areas.
Through those activities implemented in urban settings, IOM will also address the needs of vulnerable people requiring assistance within affected Libyan communities in line with conflict-sensitive approaches and do no harm principles. In terms of locations of implementation, IOM will coordinate with other humanitarian stakeholders within the WASH sector to avoid potential duplication and encourage synergies. The resilience of local communities will be enhanced through awareness-raising and knowledge sharing activities on WASH issues as well as on the prevention of COVID-19 spread, alongside the provision of in-kind and technical support for the installation of pumps and the expansion of water networks to improve the overall WASH conditions. To this end, IOM will:
- Rehabilitate and expand WASH facilities such as water supply networks, sanitation facilities in schools etc.;
- Provide essential WASH items, and hygiene kits inclusive of Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) items to Libyans who have been affected by clashes and displacement and to non-Libyans, including migrants and refugees in detention centres;
- Implement hygiene promotion sessions on improved hygiene practices, inclusive of awareness-raising activities on COVID-19 preventive measures.
WASH interventions will be conducted in a gender-sensitive manner in line with IOM's Gender Policy as well as the Accountability to Affected Populations Framework (AAP).
Providing multi-sectorial assistance to meet migrants' basic needs along the Central Mediterranean Route
Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM)
IOM’s MRRM provides targeted and comprehensive services to vulnerable migrants and needs-based assistance, especially in hard-to-reach locations where they have less access to services. To this end, IOM will:
- Conduct regular mobile outreach to migrant communities along the migratory routes in Libya to identify needs;
- Provide non-food items, hygiene kits and emergency food assistance, as well as medical services and mental health and psychosocial support sessions;
- Refer migrants to IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme which offers migrants the opportunity to return to their country of origin, following a rights-based approach;
- Conduct individual and group outreach sessions on the dangers and risks of irregular migration, as well as provide information on alternatives, disease control and prevention, and other available humanitarian services in Libya and their countries of origin.
Search and Rescue (SAR)
IOM works with national authorities towards preventing further unnecessary and tragic deaths at sea, ensuring protection-oriented and humanitarian-based assistance to migrants upon disembarkation, while at the same time upholding human rights law and enhancing the human mobility governance. IOM’s Search and Rescue programme is designed to provide the required assistance at all active disembarkation points along Libya’s western Mediterranean coast while retaining the ability to scale up its geographical coverage according to need. To this end, IOM will:
- Provide life-saving equipment (life jackets, emergency blankets, first aid kits, buoys, body bags, operation suits, gloves and masks);
- Enhance the infrastructure of reception areas at disembarkation points through the establishment of clinics, water and sanitation infrastructure and shaded reception areas;
- Provide fumigation, disinfection and cleaning services to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
- Provide humanitarian assistance to migrants upon arrival at disembarkation points including medical first aid and psychological support, food and non-food items, vulnerability screening, and referral for protection assistance for men, women and children;
- Enhance the capacity of government authorities, through delivering training on topics such as migration management, human rights, language training, information technology and first aid.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
The displacement of Libyans and the presence of migrants has compounded political, social and economic challenges facing local communities. Ongoing conflict, competition over resources and the deteriorating local economy have proven conducive to irregular migration activities, further heightening community-level discord. Under the pressure of this instability, pre-existing tensions between people divided by tribe, race and ethnicity have become increasingly challenging, making the tasks of local governance and fair allocation of government resources ever more difficult.
IOM Libya’s programmes will benefit communities where there is potential for conflict, including inter-tribal conflicts between Libyans, or between migrant populations and host communities. IOM supports a whole of community approach to strengthen social cohesion and reduce points of tension.
IOM’s community stabilization programme seeks to assist in re-establishing stability and security, preventing further forced and irregular migration for migrants and displaced populations, restoring trust among community members, vulnerable populations and local authorities, and laying the foundations for durable solutions, lasting peace and sustainable development. To this end, IOM will:
- Support the restoration of basic services through support to authorities' delivery of critical infrastructure prioritized through consultative community processes, including through the rehabilitation of, inter alia, schools, clinics, water wells, and playgrounds, as well as the provision of equipment;
- Promote social cohesion through capacity building of civil society organizations on how to plan and manage community-based projects that are in support of inter and intra-community cohesion, and the consequent provision of small grants to facilitate the implementation of such projects; IOM will strive to engage specifically with women-led organizations to promote women’s and girls’ voices and participation.
- Enhance livelihood opportunities for IDPs, returnees, migrants and host communities through the delivery of coaching sessions and in-kind grants to support micro-entrepreneurs in setting up or expanding small businesses.
IOM also supports livelihoods of migrants, displaced population and host communities through grants utilized by local civil societies focusing on entrepreneurship/business development and skill training initiatives. To this end, IOM will:
- Improve training curricula of vocational training centres to upskill youth (both migrants and host community) as well as to facilitate access to employment opportunities;
- Provide livelihood grants to support socioeconomic recovery and enhance grassroot capacity building.
IOM programmes and humanitarian, development and peacebuilding actors in Libya which benefit from an enhanced evidence base for their response. Indirect targets will be the individuals IOM supports through activities and programmes that are better tailored to the needs of affected populations.
Through DTM, IOM has been providing a common operating picture concerning the movement of IDPs, returnees and migrants in Libya since 2016, allowing crisis response actors to provide timely assistance to those in need. IOM works in coordination with Libyan counterparts including the Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Displacement, and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). To this end, IOM plans to:
- Flow Monitoring: Track migrants across key transit points to understand migration flows
- Migrant Surveys: Conduct Humanitarian Needs and Vulnerability surveys to inform humanitarian action;
- Mobility Tracking: Capture sex and age disaggregated data in all 100 Libyan municipalities on a eight-week cycle on all IDPs, returnees and migrants to identify their current locations and identify priority humanitarian needs via Key Informant Interviews conducted at regional (admin 2: mantika), and municipality (admin 3: baladiya) levels;
- Detention Center Profiling: Provide snapshots of detention centres under the management of Libya’s DCIM;
- Emergency Event Tracking: Conduct rapid displacement assessments to provide baseline information within 72 hours of an incident;
- Conduct thematic assessments and multi-sectoral needs assessments focusing on priority needs amongst migrants and IDPs.
- Conduct intention surveys and returnee assessments to determine pathways to durable solutions for displaced populations;
- Implement point of entry monitoring and tracking of movement restrictions due to COVID-19 for Libya and health surveillance of migrants on the move
- Conduct assessments of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 related movement restrictions on the vulnerable populations in Libya.
- Build the information management capacity of Libyan line-ministries.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.