• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 551 Fatalities reported [?]



The central Mediterranean route, from Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly Libya and Tunisia but also Algeria, to Italy has been one of the most active and dangerous routes for people crossing to Europe by sea. Italy recorded around 181,000 sea arrivals in 2016, and 119,000 in 2017, before numbers dropped to 23,400 in 2018.?Since then, arrival numbers have again lowered significantly, 63% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018 (from 21,024 to 7,634 new sea arrivals). ? However, the number of people who have died or are missing remain high.  As of  30 November, 743 people have lost their lives or remain missing on the central Mediterranean route in 2019.?

Around 74% of the people embarking on the journey are men. The proportion of unattended minors remains high, at 19%.? Main countries of origin are Tunisia (24% of new arrivals), Pakistan (11%), Côte d'Ivoire (10%), and Algeria (9%). ?

The mixed migration movements include refugees fleeing from persecution and conflict in their home countries as well as migrants looking for better economic and social opportunities in Europe. Human rights violations are reported in detention centers, especially in Libya. Protection, food and health concerns are high among the migrants and asylum seekers. ?Many become victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.?


Latest Developments


Migrants returned to the port of Tripoli by the Libyan Coast Guard in the past weeks have found increasing difficulties in disembarking, with Tripoli-based authorities citing security reasons. Amid shelling of the seaport, 277 migrants were kept on a vessel overnight between 9 and 10 April before fleeing; around 200 of them were transferred to official and unofficial detention centres, where they cannot be reached by aid workers. Procedures for future disembarkation in Libyan ports are unclear.?

10/02/2020: A 2017 memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Tripoli-based government and the government of Italy (GoI) was renewed on 2 February. The MoU foresees financial support from the GoI to Libyan maritime authorities for search and rescue operations which return migrants to Libya. Negotiations on changes to the MoU are ongoing. Protection threats and difficult access to food and healthcare affect migrants in Libya.?