Oct 24, 2021 - World

Pope calls on countries to stop sending migrants back to Libya

Pope Francis

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto / AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday called on the international community to end the practice of returning migrants rescued at sea to Libya and other "unsafe countries," AP reports.

Why it matters: Hundreds of thousands of migrants have taken to the sea, fleeing from the countries like Libya and Turkey. Many were later returned to their county of origin by authorities.

What they're saying: "I express my closeness to the thousands of migrants, refugees and others in need of protection in Libya," Francis said, per AP.

  • "I never forget you," he added. "I hear your cries and I pray for you."
  • "We need to stop sending back [migrants] to unsafe countries and ... guarantee them dignified conditions of life, alternatives to detention, regular paths of migration and access to asylum procedures."
  • The pope also condemned migrant detention facilities in Libya, calling them "true concentration camps." The facilities' conditions have been denounced by the UN refugee agency, which has cited incidents of rape and torture taking place there.
Go deeper