IOM Helps 46 Stranded Bangladeshi Migrants Return Home from Libya
IOM yesterday (23/1) helped 46 stranded Bangladeshi male migrants return home to Bangladesh from Misratah, Libya.
The repatriation – the first such operation out of Misratah since 2014 due to security concerns – was carried out in close coordination with the Bangladeshi Embassy and Krareem Detention Centre in Misratah.
IOM interviewed the migrants before departure and provided medical check-ups to ensure they were fit to travel. All migrants also received clothes and shoes, as part of IOM’s pre-departure assistance.
In Dhaka, IOM staff supported each migrant with their onward journey to their homes. All 46 migrants were also eligible for IOM’s reintegration support which helps them reintegrate back into society by giving them the opportunity to start a business, continue their education, have a decent living and/or pay for their medical needs if they suffer from any diseases or medical conditions.
One of the migrants was 26-year-old Farhan who left Bangladesh for Libya to find work a few years ago. He and his family raised the USD 4,000 needed for the journey by selling belongings and borrowing from acquaintances. He was promised a visa on arrival but instead of landing in Tripoli as planned, he was taken to Misratah were he was neither issued a visa, nor received a job. Instead he was thrown in a detention centre and was left stranded with nowhere to go. For Farhan, IOM’s return assistance was the only way to leave Libya and he was glad to return to his family.
“We are grateful that we could support migrants from Misratah for the first time in a long time, opening new possibilities for the stranded migrants trying to get out of Libya,” said IOM Libya Operations Officer, Ashraf Hassan. He added, “We are working hard to ensure that we can support migrants in different locations across Libya and not just from Tripoli.”
The return assistance was made possible with funding from the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and it falls under IOM’s return assistance programme.
In 2016, IOM assisted 2,777 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin, of which 522 were eligible for IOM’s reintegration assistance.