국제앰네스티는 리비아 정부가 유엔난민기구를 축출한다면 수천 명의 난민들과 망명 신청자들이 아무런 보호를 받지 못하게 된다고 경고했다.유엔난민고등판무관실(UNHCR)은 지난 8일 리비아 정부로부터 철수 명령을 받았다고 전했다. 국제앰네스티는 리비아 지도자 무아마르 알-가다피(M’uammar al-Gaddafi) 대령에게 결정을 취하할 것을 요구했다.
이번 결정은 리비아와 유럽연합(EU)이 불법이주민들의 통제 및 기타 여러 사항과 관련해 협상을 개시한 며칠 뒤 나온 것이다.
국제앰네스티 하시바 하지-사라위(Hassiba Hadi-Sahraoui) 중동 및 북아프리카 부국장은 “리비아가 유럽연합과 협상을 진행하고 있다는 점을 감안하면 이번 결정이 보다 더 중요할 수 밖에 없다”며 “리비아 당국은 UNHCR의 활동을 저해하기보다 오히려 활동을 강화해야 한다. 이것은 나아가 난민과 망명신청자 및 이주민에 대한 리비아의 대처와 관련된 인권염려들을 다루기 위한 즉각적인 요구를 강조한다”고 전했다.
Libya’s expulsion of UN refugee agency puts thousands at risk
10 June 2010
The Libyan government’s decision to expel the United Nations refugee agency from the country leaves thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers without any protection, Amnesty International has warned.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Tuesday that it had been ordered to leave Libya. Amnesty International has appealed to the country’s leader, Colonel M’uammar al-Gaddafi, to rescind the decision.
The move comes days after the start of negotiations between Libya and the European Union (EU) about the control of irregular migration, among other issues.
“The timing of this move could not have been more significant given the negotiations between Libya and the EU,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa programme.
“Instead of undermining UNHCR’s work, the Libyan authorities should strengthen its presence. This further highlights the urgent need to address human rights concerns in relation to Libya’s treatment of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.”
The UNHCR has been in Libya since 1991, but without any formal agreement, making its position precarious and impeding its ability to carry out protection work.
Despite the restrictions, the UNHCR has been fulfilling an essential role in the absence of an asylum-system in Libya and has been providing protection for asylum-seekers and refugees.
As of January 2010, 8,951 refugees and 3,689 asylum-seekers were registered with the UNHCR in Libya. It was also engaged in the resettlement of refugees from Libya to third countries.
The UNHCR’s departure will also affect the neediest refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas, whom it was assisting by giving out living allowances, housing, medical assistance and other support.
In the UNHCR’s absence, they will have to fend for themselves, as the Libyan authorities do not grant them any residence papers, the right to work or any allowance.
“This move leaves thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers in a state of limbo with no possibility of presenting their claims for asylum,” said Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui.
The move to expel the UNHCR comes against the backdrop of negotiations, which started on 6 June in Tripoli, between Libya and the EU over bitaretal cooperation in the control of irregular migration.
EU members states, most notably Italy, have been seeking Libya’s assistance in decreasing the flow of arrivals of asylum-seekers and migrants to European shores.
Even with the presence of the UNHCR, the situation of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants — particularly those from Sub-Saharan Africa — is precarious. They live in constant fear of being beaten and abused, arrested and placed in detention centres indefinitely, or arbitrarily deported.
The Libyan authorities deny the presence of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country, arguing that all foreign nationals in its territory are there for economic reasons.
The Libyan authorities continue to arrest and indefinitely detain individuals they suspect of being irregular migrants.
Amnesty International has called on EU member states not to turn a blind eye on reports of torture or other ill-treatment of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Libya.