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Mixed migration routes and dynamics in Libya: The impact of EU migration measures on mixed migration in Libya

Subject/Objective: 

REACH conducted this study in the framework of a partnership with UNHCR with the aim to
increase understanding of the impact of migration measures implemented in Libya since early
2017 on mixed migration dynamics in the country. The assessment focused on (1) migration
routes to and within Libya, smuggling hubs, and changes thereto since early 2017; (2) refugees’
and migrants’ experience of migration policy changes in their everyday lives and (3) the extent to which information about migration measures implemented in Libya since early 2017 shaped
refugees’ and migrants’ decision making on staying or leaving Libya.

Methodology: 

This situation overview presents findings from an assessment on mixed migration routes
and dynamics to and inside Libya, and the ways in which migration measures since early
2017 in the country impacted these, conducted in eight locations across the country
between 21 March and 2nd April 2018. Locations assessed were sampled on the basis
of their relevance to migration within Libya ascertained on the basis of IOM DTM23 and
other secondary data as either (1) important entry points in the South, such as Sebha and
Alkufra; (2) transit cities, including Misrata, Ejdabia, Tripoli and Bani Waleed and (3) exit
points to Europe along the coast, including Garabolli and Azzawya.
• In each location three to five in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants
were administered. Key informants were selected on the basis of their expertise on
migration and included law enforcement officials, mukhtars, civil society representatives
and activists, smugglers and humanitarian aid workers. In addition to a total of 32 key
informant interviews, 75 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with refugees
and migrants who were selected in five locations selected on the basis of accessibility,
namely in the cities of Sebha, Alkufra, Misrata, Tripoli and Bani Waleed. Refugees and
migrants were asked to speak about their everyday lives since early 2017 over time, their
knowledge of migration measures in the country and decision making over migration.
• Data collection was carried out by field teams; all received tailored training on qualitative
data collection and interview skills, as well as on ethical considerations around data
collection with vulnerable groups. Longitudinal analysis was carried out on the basis
of comparable information on routes and mobility collected through IMPACT (of which
REACH is an initiative) with Altai Consulting in late 2016 and early 2017 in Libya.24 All
information was triangulated with existing secondary data.

Key findings: 

The assessment finds that migration routes to and within Libya have diversified since early
2017. It finds an increase in arrivals from Algeria and Chad and a multiplication of smuggling
hubs along the eastern coast of the country. In the face of increased coastguard controls along
the Libyan coast, the numbers of refugees and migrants held for long periods of time with
limited freedom of movement in warehouses and unsafe accommodations along the coast have
increased. In the rest of the country, refugees and migrants continue to suffer from the difficult
living situation in Libya. At the same time, knowledge about the security situation and migration
measures implemented since 2017 in Libya did not reportedly impact refugees’ and migrants’
decision to go to or stay in Libya or migrate further north.

Sample size: 
75
Assessment Report: 
Assessment Questionnaire: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Available on Request
Contact(s): 
Diana Ihring
diana.ihring@reach-initiative.org
Operations(s)/Webspace(s): 
Assessment Date(s): 
с 20 Мар 2018 по 16 мая 2018
Status: 
Report completed
Unit(s) of Measurement: 
Individuals
Collection Method(s): 
Structured Interview
Unstructured Interview
Key Informant Interview
Population Type(s): 
Refugees
Marginalised groups
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
REACH Initiative
Participating Organization(s): 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Location(s): 
Libya
Italy
Agadez
Algeria
Theme(s): 
Refugees and Returnees