According to the organization, from February 9 to 15, 318 illegal migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya. In 2021, another 20 died, and 70 people remain missing on the Central Mediterranean route.
Over the past year, IOM reported on instances where migrants were returned to Libya from international waters, by commercial vessels or with support from European state assets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the country's living conditions, forcing hundreds of asylum seekers to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and search for a new beginning in Europe.
However, the IOM highlights that 323 migrants died and 417 disappeared last year in the Mediterranean sea, although 11,891 people were rescued and sent back home. Thus far in 2021, at least 2,274 asylum seekers, including 160 children, have been saved and returned to Libya.