THE ESCALATION OF THE LIBYAN CONFLICT AND COVID-19: WHAT CONSEQUENCES OF A REFUGEE IN- FLUX ON TUNISIA?

REPORT AT A GLANCE

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The developments in the Libyan civil war and the recent pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 in the world raise concerns regarding a possible sudden influx of refugees from Libya to neighboring Tunisia. This article evaluates the legal and political situation in respect to refugees in Tunisia, as well as the latest developments of the Libyan conflict and COVID-19 in both countries.T

 

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • > Tunisia has been hosting and accommodating few irregular migrants from Libya who have been fleeing the conflict zone.

  •  >Tunisia has no law in place to implement the right to asylum for refugees despite demands from CSOs. In fact, due to the equation of human trafficking with irregular migration, asylum-seekers and refugees have been criminalized in Tunisia.

  • > Despite the closure of the Ras Jdir border post, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created the dynamics for a new influx of refugees fleeing both Libya's war and deficient health care system. 

  • > At present, along with its own domestic cases of COVID-19, Tunisia does not have the facilities to cope with a new surge of irregular migration.

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