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Libya must improve its human rights record

12 janvier 2011

The EU should not sign a Framework Agreement with Libya, which is currently under negotiation and covers a wide range of areas, without guaranteeing that Libya takes concrete steps to improve respect for human rights, namely of refugees and migrants. 

For the S&D Group, the treatment of migrants and refugees by the Libyan authorities is a priority concern. « The EU-Libya Framework Agreement can be a positive step to promote mutual understanding but the European Parliament cannot accept an agreement that is not in compliance with European fundamental values », said Portuguese S&D MEP Ana Gomes, European Parliament rapporteur on this agreement. « Libya must accept a legal presence of UNHCR in the country and a readmission agreement could only be envisaged for irregular immigrants, excluding those who declare themselves asylum-seekers, refugees or persons in need of protection, thus reiterating the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ ». Cooperation in this area should contribute to establish an effective framework for managing migration and asylum flows and addressing the problem of human trafficking, while fully respecting human rights. « It is time to persuade Libya to ratify the Geneva Convention on Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol and to adopt asylum legislation that recognises refugees’ status and rights accordingly », argued Ana Gomes.

The Libyan authorities should also accept a moratorium on the death penalty. Ana Gomes underlines the need to improve cooperation in areas such as institutional capacity building, sustainable development as well as health and visa policies. The rapporteur also stresses the importance of opening an EU Delegation in Tripoli as soon as possible.

The European Parliament will adopt its position on the negotiations on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement during January’s plenary session.


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