Libya – Human trafficking (20 November 2017)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhuman treatment and violence that migrants are subjected to in Libya. These despicable practices arouse France’s indignation and shock the world’s conscience. France takes note of the opening of an investigation by Libyan authorities and hopes it will conclude in a timely fashion.

Just as Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Libyan interior minister on September 4, France reminds the Libyan authorities of their duty to protect and assist migrants on their soil and the need to fully cooperate with the IOM and the UNHCR, to which France extends its full support. Apart from being a matter of simple humanity, the credibility of the Libyan national unity government depends on it, as does that of all Libyan players in a position to assist migrants.

In accordance with the commitments taken at the Paris summit on August 28, France reaffirms its determination to work with its European and African partners to combat human trafficking in all its forms and to dismantle the traffickers’ economic model. Moreover, a protection mission was carried out by the OFPRA [French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons] in Niger to provide hearings to asylum seekers evacuated from Libya by the UNHCR. This mission is enshrined in the summit’s conclusions.

There will be no lasting response to the violence and trafficking of migrants by criminal networks without an inclusive political solution and the support of a unified army under civilian command. In line with the meeting in La Celle-Saint-Cloud on July 25 and in conjunction with the EU and regional partners, France will spare no effort both in this regard and to support UN mediation.

Finally, combating human trafficking calls for an ever-growing commitment by the international community, and notably the UN. In this regard, we welcome tomorrow’s meeting on migratory issues organized by the UN in Tripoli.

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