Libya remains a destination country along the Central Mediterranean Route, but also a key transit location and starting point for those attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. While work is underway for defining the future comprehensive integrated border management system and Search and Rescue (SAR) architecture to be implemented in the country, national authorities remain challenged by difficulties related to availability of adequate infrastructure, human capital and efficient procedures that would enable them to handle major cross-border flows of irregular migrants and fight smuggling networks. 

IOM is called upon and engaged, together with its partners in the international community and in coordination with Libyan national authorities, to assist in addressing the complex challenges of migration management in the country. In order to prevent further unnecessary and tragic deaths at sea and to alleviate the suffering of desperate migrants embarking upon the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea, IOM established a dedicated mechanism to provide protection-oriented and humanitarian-based assistance to migrants upon disembarkation. 

IOM coordinates its engagement with other organizations within the United Nations system in Libya, with the humanitarian community, as well as with sister IOM Offices across the Mediterranean area, including IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). In April 2020, IOM signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Union Border Assistance Mission in Libya, framing their willingness to further cooperate and coordinate activities towards enhancing the assistance provided to Libyan authorities on border management integration.