Combating the phenomenon of migrant smuggling in Libya

06th February 2017 - Tunis, Tunisia

Smuggling of migrants is a global phenomenon that negatively affects origin, transit and destination States. In recent years, this phenomenon has magnified, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region. This is due to the deteriorating security situation in countries of conflict and in relation, the lack of adequate border control.

The conflict in Libya has compromised border control measures and has further encouraged irregular migrants from neighbouring African countries to transit in Libya and continue to irregularly migrate towards Europe. As of 2015, 141,470 cases of outward migration from Libya were detected. Despite the prevailing political and security dynamics in Libya since 2014, UNODC continues to provide support in the form of technical assistance and advisory services to the Libyan authorities to counter transnational organized crime.

UNODC has welcomed 2017 with a number of activities including capacity-building training for representatives of the Ministry of Interior's Anti-Illegal Migration Department, Coastal Security, the Libyan Coast Guard and the Attorney-General's Office on investigating cases of migrant smuggling. This activity has taken place from 6 to 9 February 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia. It featured seven expert trainers from UNODC, the Attorney-General's Office in Italy, EUNAVFOR-MED, UNHCR and IOM. Key areas of focus include prosecution, investigation, debriefing and the provision of assistance and protection.

The training was met with positivity and the request for additional technical assistance training. UNODC hopes to continue its efforts in Libya throughout 2017 and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration with its Libyan counterparts.

For further details on the outcome of the workshop, UNODC activities on migrant smuggling in the region, please contact: Ms. Nesma El Shazly, e-mail: nesma.elshazly[at]; For activities in Libya, please contact Mr. Ali Elbereir, e-mail: ali.elbereir[at]