Europe: Refugees & Migrants’ Rights

  • The EU and its member states continue efforts to prevent arrivals and outsource responsibility for migration control to countries outside the EU. In Libya the EU is pursuing a containment strategy in cooperation with their authorities, despite overwhelming evidence of pervasive abuse against asylum seekers and other migrants arbitrarily detained in Libya.

    Just over 172,300 people reached Europe by sea in 2017, less than half those in 2016. There was a significant increase in boat migration from Morocco to Spain, though overall numbers remained low. The Mediterranean crossing remained deadly, with 3,139 dead or missing in 2017.

    Nongovernmental organizations performed roughly 40 percent of rescues in the central Mediterranean in the first half of 2017, but several groups suspended activities due to security concerns and increased interceptions, sometimes reckless and accompanied by abuse, by Libyan coast guard forces.