September 21, 2009


This report was researched and written by Bill Frelick, refugee policy director at Human Rights Watch. The report was also researched and edited by Heba Morayef, Middle East and North Africa researcher. Leslie Lefkow and Ben Rawlence, researchers in Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division, provided additional field research. Helen Butcher provided legal research and editorial assistance. The report was edited by Iain Levine, director of the Program Office. Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor, conducted the legal review. Ben Ward, associate director of the Europe and Central Asia Division, Jude Sunderland, researcher in the Europe and Central Asia Division, Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the Women’s Rights Division, Simone Troller, researcher in the Children Rights Division, and Lefkow of the Africa Division, provided comments, as did UNHCR and NGO representatives and legal service providers in Libya, Italy, and Malta. Editorial assistance was provided by Valerie Kirkpatrick of the Refugee Program. Grace Choi and Anna Lopriore provided production assistance. Interpreting services in the field were provided by Adil Mohammed Ahmed and Muhammed Ismail in Malta, and Manfred Bergmann and Michael Ghebregherghis in Italy. Tino Camarda of the Middle East and North Africa Division provided additional research and translations.  Janna Rearick provided additional legal research.

Human Rights Watch thanks the legal and social service providers and advocates in Libya, Italy, and Malta, particularly the staffs of the Gaddafi Foundation, Jesuit Refugee Services, Mèdecins Sans Frontières, the Italian Refugee Council, Save the Children, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. We are particularly grateful to the Italian and Maltese governments for granting us access to migration detention centers in Malta, Sicily, and Lampedusa.