UN High Commissioner for Refugees appeals for safety of third-country nationals in Libya

Monday 22 August 2011

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today appealed to all sides of the conflict in Libya to ensure that the thousands of third-country nationals trapped in Tripoli and other areas by the ongoing fighting are properly protected from harm.

"Thousands of third-country nationals in Libya will be feeling great fear and uncertainty at this time," he said. "We have seen at earlier stages in this crisis that such people, Africans especially, can be particularly vulnerable to hostility or acts of vengeance. It is crucial that humanitarian law prevails through these climactic moments and that foreigners - including refugees and migrant workers - are being fully and properly protected from harm."

Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, as well as people with international protection needs, have fled Libya to neighbouring countries over the course of the Libya crisis. However, many tens of thousands are believed to have remained in Tripoli and other areas.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

In Geneva: Melissa Fleming on mobile +41 79 557 9122

Adrian Edwards on mobile +41 79 557 9120