Since the end of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi’s 42-year rule in 2011, Libya has been divided by armed conflict and political instability. Refugees and migrants in the country are often held in detention centres with inadequate food, drinking water and sanitation.

In April 2019, fighting errupted in Tripoli. Hundreds were killed and thousands of people had to flee their homes to seek safety. Those held in detention centres were trapped, unable to escape the violence, with some centres being directly hit by airstrikes. During this time over 1,200 refugees and migrants who risked their lives at sea in attempts to escape were returned to the country by the EU-enabled Libyan Coast Guard. This was in violation of international law.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first worked in this North African nation in 2011, when fighting between rival factions caused people to flee their homes. Our projects have focused on working with displaced people, refugees and migrants.