Zuara: a Formula for Change in Libya? Libyan Perspectives on the Migrant Crisis

When migrant boats sank off the coast in 2014 and 2015 and dozens of bodies arrived on its beaches, the Counter Crime Unit in the town of Zuara responded to the local community’s wish to stop smuggling through its area.  

A new report from Seefar, Zuara: a Formula for Change in Libya? Libyan Perspectives on the Migrant Crisis, signals how international actors can work with local communities to create safe and livable spaces for migrants. Safe spaces protect migrants, allow host communities to benefit from their labour, and reduce the motivation for migrants to make dangerous journeys to Europe.

The report is intended to support organizations, governments, and policymakers seeking to design programs to address the Libyan migration crisis.  Using focus group discussions and key informant interviews in Zuara and Ghat, two smuggling transit towns, this report explores how the legitimacy and energy of grassroots action brought real change to Libyans and migrants alike. It presents Libyan perspectives on the Libyan ‘migration crisis,’ and also addresses how international actors can build partnerships with Libyan communities to create spaces of peace and prosperity for migrants and their host communities. Five key recommendations are made in the report.

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