As the United Nations Migration Agency, IOM is increasingly called upon by States to address complex border management challenges and act with its partners in the international community to assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management whilst upholding border security and protecting migrants’ fundamental rights. 

The Immigration and Border Management (IBM) team benefit from a core group of specialists with substantial technical knowledge who offer guidance and expertise to governments aspiring to improve their migration and border management and operational procedures. The IBM programme helps governments create policy, legislation, administrative structures, operational systems and provide the human resources necessary to respond effectively to diverse migration challenges and introduce efficient migration governance. 

Together with relevant international stakeholders, IOM works with Libyan border authorities to enhance their strategic, operational and technical capacities by supporting the development of policy frameworks and by providing capacity-building, training and equipment, and improving infrastructure. By enhancing relevant national entities’ capacities, IOM aims to equip border authorities to adequately protect migrants and adopt a gender-responsive approach in border management. In April 2020, IOM Libya signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Union Border Assistance Mission in Libya, framing their willingness to cooperate further and coordinate activities towards enhancing the assistance provided to Libyan authorities on integrated border management. 

IBM is supporting Libya to develop and implement appropriate border management responses to humanitarian crises. Building humanitarian border management capacities supports human security by adapting to the needs of specific groups found within complex mixed migration flows. 


Effective frontline management of mixed migration flows requires clear policy frameworks and accountability mechanisms, commitment to proper resourcing and logistical support, and finally, adequately skilled human resources. The IBM team aims for efficient border and migration management policies and structures in Libya through facilitating secure and protection-sensitive border management, preventing irregular migration, support to dismantle organized criminal networks and protect the human rights of migrants. The main priorities for the IBM programme are: 

  • Enhance the capacities of the Libyan authorities to promote regular migration in a protection-sensitive environment; 
  • Strengthen the capacity of all concerned authorities to further strengthen identity management through the rollout of improved border management information systems; 
  • Capacitate border officials in addressing the challenges of managing borders in crisis situation through the integrated approach of humanitarian border management (HBM); 
  • Promote regional cooperation by supporting policies development and enhanced information sharing mechanisms with neighbouring countries and beyond.

Areas of Intervention

Humanitarian Border Management 

Libya’s unstable security situation and a general lack of the rule of law in most border areas, particularly those along the southern borders, pose significant threats to migrants entering and transiting the country along the Central Mediterranean migration route. Hence the IBM team strengthens humanitarian border management through supporting authorities to implement human rights-based and protection-oriented search and rescue operations. This assistance includes providing direct lifesaving assistance to migrants and building the capacity of national authorities in performing SAR operations. IOM further works closely with relevant Libyan authorities to promote sustainable capacity development of national officials from key border management entities on topics related to the management of borders during times of humanitarian crisis, including health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cross-Border Cooperation and Information Sharing

The IBM team is building the professional capacities of national immigration and border authorities to apply humanitarian border management principles in their work. It aims to strengthen the ability of Libyan authorities to implement enhanced cross-border cooperation, better coordination and information sharing mechanisms with neighbouring countries based on clear policies and procedures. Human rights-based management of mixed migration flows requires adequate, standardized, reliable, and well-protected data, facilitating evidence-based policy decisions.

Identity Management and Management of Migration Flows

IOM offers advanced border management tools and solutions, implemented and tested in many places worldwide. The Migration Information and Data Analysis System is a stable, user-friendly and fully customizable data collection tool for States in need of a cost-effective and fully automated entry and exit registration system. Through the rollout of a comprehensive MIDAS package that includes the provision of equipment and deliverance of related specialized training, national authorities will be able to collect, process, store, analyse and share traveller information in real-time. MIDAS can monitor who enters and exits Libya while providing information and data that can be used as the basis for trend analysis, policy development and protection services.
Updated October 2021