The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) office in Tripoli, with UNHCR, has organized a two-day technical workshop for Libyan partners on saving lives of migrants off the Libyan coast.

The workshop, which took place from 29-30 July in Tunis and was funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), was attended by 19 officers from the Libyan Coast Guard and Port Security Department, the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration, and two members of the Libyan Red Crescent.

The meeting provided a unique opportunity to assess the current situation and procedures related to saving lives at sea, including the identification of vulnerable migrants and the provision of immediate humanitarian assistance when they disembark at a Libyan port or harbour.

The main objective of the workshop was to enhance coordination and cooperation among all actors involved in and responding to rescue at sea operations. It also addressed life-saving operations in dangerous desert areas adjacent to Libya?s land borders.

The event was also attended by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Medical Corps (IMC). The agencies contribute to communicable disease control and the handling of the remains of drowned migrants recovered from the Mediterranean.

IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi noted: ?This is the first event of this kind organized jointly with UNHCR. Its aim was to bring together all actors actively involved in rescue at sea operations. It has also resulted in the establishment of a contact group to improve cooperation and collaboration on the operational level to save migrants risking their lives at sea.?

IOM and UNHCR will continue to organize similar meetings over the next nine months, with funding support from ECHO.

Source : IOM


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