Libyan border facing refugee crisis - Refugee Council response - Refugee Council
March 1, 2011

Libyan border facing refugee crisis – Refugee Council response

Following UN reports that the situation on Libya’s border with Tunisia has reached crisis point, as tens of thousands of people flee violence in the country, the Refugee Council is calling on the UK government and European countries to work together to respond humanely to the crisis.

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:

“It is welcome news the UK government has spoken up in support of people in Libya, and we must now honour that commitment by ensuring that we can offer protection and safety to people who are forced to flee the violence in the region. It is also imperative that all European countries work in solidarity to respond humanely to the Libyan crisis, ensuring their borders are open to people in need of refuge, whatever their background.

“Many of the people fleeing Libya are refugees who have already fled persecution in countries across Africa and Asia, and were already seeking a place of safety. There is an urgent need to ensure that those particularly vulnerable people as well as Libyans fleeing violence in the country can get the protection they need.

“The UN reports that Tunisia is struggling to cope with numbers of arrivals from Libya, so while the numbers entering Europe are so far low, we and other European countries must be prepared to share responsibility for those refugees who do end up in Europe.

“All EU countries including the UK have signed the UN Convention for Refugees which has saved countless lives over the last 60 years, so now is the time to remember that commitment and stand up for people fleeing violent regimes in other parts of the world.”