IOM reports thousands of migrants voluntarily returned from Libya


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced on Tuesday that since 2015, 80,000 migrants have been voluntarily deported from Libya to their home countries through the Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program. This initiative has provided critical support to those looking to return home safely.

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According to the IOM, the deported migrants included 2,733 victims of human trafficking, 843 unaccompanied or separated children, and 5,144 individuals with medical needs.

Upon returning, these migrants receive comprehensive reintegration support, including economic, social, and psychosocial assistance, through individual reintegration packages.

Working around the clock to assist vulnerable migrants

“IOM Libya’s staff work around the clock to assist vulnerable migrants in Libya who are in need of urgent protection assistance. Enabling migrants to make informed choices and ensuring their right to return home is advocated for, the VHR program offers a glimmer of hope in the face of extreme adversity,” said Tauhid Pasha, IOM Libya’s acting chief of mission.

Crew members of the Geo Barents migrant rescue ship, operated by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), distribute life jackets to a group of 61 migrants on a boat during a rescue operation in international waters off the coast of Libya in the central Mediterranean Sea September, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI)
Since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has become a key departure point for migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

The IOM’s VHR program aims to provide a safe and dignified return for migrants stranded in Libya, addressing their immediate needs and helping them reintegrate into their home communities.

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