Migration is increasingly recognized as a significant factor for the achievement of the four main pillars of sustainable development: human, social, economic and environmental. However, more needs to be done to mainstream the role of migration as an enabler of sustainable development for individuals, communities and societies.

The Libyan economy currently depends on revenues from the petroleum sector, with the only other major source of formal employment in its expansive public sector. A decade of conflict, coupled with the inadequacy of current educational and vocational training systems has adversely impacted the country’s overall development, while the private sector is underdeveloped. According to the World Bank, prior to 2011, Libya’s active workforce was 2.6 million people of which 50 per cent were foreign workers. Since 2011, conflict, an unstable political climate and the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 has deterred foreign workers from entering Libya, leaving many positions for technical and manual labour jobs unfilled.

Recognizing that regular migration not only provides economic opportunities for migrants and their families, but also fuels economic growth in the country where migrants live and work, IOM is providing technical and policy support to the Government of Libya on a wide range of migration management issues.

The IOM Labour Mobility and Human Development (LHD) programme contributes to capacity enhancement in labour migration management by offering policy and technical guidance, supporting the development of strategies, legislation and administrative structures that promote efficient and transparent labour migration flows, and facilitating skill development to harness the full potential of human capital in Libya for economic development.