UNICEF calls for protecting children in Libya

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday called for protecting children as four child migrants died off Libya’s western coast.

“UNICEF is deeply saddened with the reports that four children aged between five and ten have drowned off the coast of Zawiya city, west of Tripoli,” UNICEF said.

“UNICEF calls for safety and protection for all children,” said Abdulkadir Musse, special representative of UNICEF to Libya.

The bodies of four illegal children migrants were recovered on Wednesday off the coast of Zawiya, a Libyan city some 40 km west of capital Tripoli, the Libyan Red Crescent said.

“We received a report today about a capsized boat on Mutrud shore in western Zawiya with about 30 migrants on board,” Husni al-Bai, an official of the Libyan Red Crescent, told Xinhua.

Following the ouster and killing of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been mired in chaos, making the country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants wishing to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe.

According to the International Organization for Migration, hundreds of illegal migrants have died and hundreds of others went missing along the Central Mediterranean route so far in 2020.