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16,000 migrants voluntarily deported from Libya in 2018

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Migrants are seen as they are rescued by Libyan coast guards in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Hani Amara

TRIPOLI(Xinhua) – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Sunday said it had deported more than 16,000 illegal migrants from Libya to their countries of origin in 2018.

“In 2018, more than 16000 migrants were able to return home through the voluntary humanitarian return program,” IOM said.

The voluntary humanitarian return program is carried out by the IOM, with an aim to arrange the return of illegal migrants stranded in Libya to their countries of origin.

Migrant shelters in Libya are crowded with thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea or arrested by the Libyan security services.

The organisation also said it provided essential medical care to a total of 28,633 beneficiaries, including vulnerable migrants.

Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe due to insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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