IOM Holds Workshop on Alternatives to Detention in Libya

Karolina Edsbacker, IOM Libya’s Protection Officer, facilitating the workshop. Photo: IOM/Elnakua 

Tripoli – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with technical support from the International Detention Coalition (IDC), ran a workshop, Practices and Procedures of Alternatives to Detention in Libya, last week in Tripoli. 

Stakeholders from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior (DCIM), the Libyan Coast Guard and embassies of countries of origin of migrants in Libya discussed alternatives to detention (ATD) in Libya to enhance early identification and protection of vulnerable migrants, particularly for unaccompanied and separated children. 

In a context where migrants residing in or transiting through Libya are frequently transferred to detention centres, IOM seeks to promote and operationalize alternatives that allow for a more rights-based and protection-sensitive management of migration flows. 

Officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs shared IOM’s concern about the continued detention of children and encouraged a closer collaboration with IOM and the Ministry of Interior to end the detention of children. 

‘’It is important to uphold basic child protection principles, such as the right to a safe learning environment,” said Mabrouka al-Ouzoumi, Head of the Women Welfare Department in the Ministry of Social Affairs. She called on the humanitarian community to work with Libyan authorities to establish alternatives to detention for children. 

During the workshop, participants discussed practical procedures for identifying and transferring migrants from disembarkation points and detention centres to alternative housing. They put forward concrete recommendations to a draft strategic roadmap on alternatives to detention. 

IOM Libya and IDC began co-drafting this roadmap in 2018 to address the arbitrary detention of migrants and identify alternatives to detention. 

‘’Complementing our ongoing work, the new strategy includes advocacy and coordination, capacity building and technical support and operationalising alternatives to detention on the ground. It is designed to support the most vulnerable migrants in extremely challenging situations,’’ said Insaf Mounadi, IOM Libya’s Protection Officer on Alternatives to Detention. 

In partnership with IDC, IOM also briefed the participants on the six-month capacity-building plan on alternatives to detention for Libyan officials and consular authorities. A series of courses will train frontline staff to conduct vulnerability assessments and screen migrants eligible for alternatives. 

This workshop, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, makes way for the increased focus IOM will place on alternatives to detention in 2019. 

For more information please contact Maya Abu Ata at IOM Libya, Tel: +218 91 002 4839, Email: