Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2017, 12:58 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Libya

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 20 June 2001
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2001 - Libya, 20 June 2001, available at: [accessed 12 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Libya hosted about 11,000 refugees at the end of 2000, including nearly 8,000 Palestinian refugees and some 3,000 refugees from Somalia.

Refugees in Libya

Nearly 8,000 Palestinians lived in Libya as refugees registered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Libyan government claimed that the actual number of Palestinian refugees was about 30,000, the majority of them unregistered.

UNHCR provided assistance to about 700 of the neediest Palestinian refugees, including a monthly stipend and access to health care and educational opportunities.

The 3,000 Somali refugees in Libya primarily lived on their own. About 800 resided in a specially designated building, where 400 of the neediest refugees received financial assistance from UNHCR.

UNHCR reported in mid-year that refugees' access to employment and social services was improving. UNHCR noted, however, that Libyan authorities needed more information and training regarding refugees' rights and the mandate of UNHCR.

Deportations from Libya

An explosion of violence against the estimated 1 million African migrant workers who live in Libya reportedly left hundreds of migrants dead and drove 20,000 or more migrants back to their home countries late in the year.

The violence particularly targeted migrant workers from Nigeria, whom authorities accused of engaging in illegal activities and provoking violence. Officials in Libya, a predominantly Muslim country, accused the migrant population of attempting to propagate Christianity, prostitution, brewing alcohol, and trading fake passports.

There was no indication that the anti-foreigner violence directly affected the refugee population in Libya.

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