Europe-wide protests against the Italy-Libya agreement

Europe-wide protests against the Italy-Libya agreement

  • Published on
    October 17, 2022
  • Written by:
    Monica Burns
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking, Law & Policy
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Image credit: Abolish Frontex

From Barcelona to Berlin, activists in at least 15 European cities took to the streets on October 15 to protest the renewal of the Italy-Libya Memorandum of Understanding.

A memorandum that facilitates modern slavery

Activists denounced the Libya-Italy agreement and its impact on people on the move in Libya.

InfoMigrants explains the political agreements that provide the framework for the cooperation between Europe and Libya on border control:

Italy signed a memorandum with Libya for cooperation with the Libyan coastguard in 2017, which included the provision of four patrol vessels. Under the deal the Libyan coastguard is able to intercept migrant boats at sea and return them to Libya. In 2017 a series of accords were signed between Libya and the EU. In February, several human rights organizations publicly denounced the agreements and urged the EU to rethink its approach.

This cooperation is trapping people in Libya, a country where they face forced labor, arbitrary detention, torture, extortion and other forms of abuse.

The Italy-Libya agreement is set to automatically renew for another three years if it is not cancelled by November 2 this year.

European citizens make their demands clear

Activists chanted “No Memorandum! No borders!” at key locations around Italy and other countries, including France, U.K., Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Germany.

InfoMigrants quotes a protestor:

We will be in the streets with refugees in Libya to ask the Italian Parliament to revoke the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya; immediately stop all financing and collaboration with the militias that animate the so-called Libyan coast guard.

The protests were part of an International Day of Action, organized by groups including Abolish Frontex, Diritto di migrare-diritto di restare, and Solidarity with Refugees in Libya, a coalition that Freedom United is part of.

Join the campaign

The Freedom United community has been tweeting at the Ambassador of Italy to Libya and the Ministry of the Interior, calling for the cancellation of the agreement. The memorandum is facilitating the enslavement of people in Libya and it cannot be allowed to renew! Join the campaign against slavery in Libya – sign the petition today.

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