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Libya: the first conference on the labor market in the Sahel kicks off today in Tripoli

The event is the first of its kind in Libya and also sees the participation of Italy and the European Union. For the first time, Tripoli wants to include and integrate migrants into the Libyan economy


© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

Everything is ready to Tripoli for the conference on the labor market in the Sahel entitled "Safe Mediterranean and a stable south", which will be held today and tomorrow in the capital of Libya and will see the participation of the labor ministers of the countries of Sahel and Sahara. The regional, continental and international event is the first of its kind in Libya, it will also include Italy and the European Union and marks an important paradigm shift: for the first time, in fact, the Libyan authorities want to include and insert migrants into the Libyan economy.

The turning point occurred on October 25 with the memorandum of understanding to strengthen legal migration with the Bangladesh, aimed at "facilitating working procedures" and "improving opportunities for understanding". The text, according to the Libyan news agency “Lana”, allows Libya to organize and register Bangladeshi workers, complete their legal procedures, organize their legal entry and ensure repatriation to their country of origin. The agreement will also increase mutual cooperation in the face of challenges posed by the number of workers in the Bangladesh entered illegally Libya, adds the Libyan news agency. According to the latest report from the World Organization for Migration (IOM), updated in June 2023, there are at least 23.563 Bangladeshis present in the North African country, equal to 3 percent of the overall immigrant population of 703.369 people.

According to a Libyan source consulted by "Nova", the government of Tripoli intends to offer the same memorandum signed with the Bangladesh also to the other countries of the Sahel and Sahara. If successful, it would be a historic achievement. According to IOM data, Libya hosts 175.132 migrants from Niger (25 percent of the total migrant population), another 165.924 of Egyptian nationality (24 percent), plus 123.607 originating from Chad (18 percent), another 30.095 from from Nigeria (4 percent), 14.783 from Ghana (2 percent) and 12.581 from Mali (2 percent). Also due to the economic crisis and the need of the OPEC member country to diversify its industry, the Tripoli government seems to have realized that regularizing this enormous number of migrants can contribute not only to reducing irregular emigration by sea towards the European coasts, but also to develop the country. The Tripoli authorities presented this ambitious project, without going into details and contents, during a round table with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya, in the presence of the European Union ambassador, Nicola Orlando, and of the Italian ambassador, Gianluca Alberini, and to diplomatic representatives of various other countries.

The dossier also closely concerns Italy, since at least 47.328 illegal migrants arrived from Libya by sea as of November 17, according to Interior Ministry data seen by "Agenzia Nova". More than half of the migrants who landed in Italy from the Libyan coast, around 30 thousand, left from Tripolitania, the western region of the North African country under the control of the government led by the prime minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba. From Cyrenaica, an eastern region dominated by the general Khalifa Haftar and hit last September by the devastating cyclone "Daniel", over 16 thousand migrants have arrived to date. According to the latest IOM estimates, from the beginning of the year to 11 November 13.611 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, of which 10.352 men, 943 women, 494 minors and 2.443 people whose gender data are not available. The death of 939 migrants was confirmed, while 1.248 are still missing in attempts to emigrate to the European coasts via the central Mediterranean route (which includes both Libya and Tunisia), for a total of 2.187 deceased people.

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