UK Watchdog Criticises UK Aid to Libya Detention Centres
The Guardian reports that the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact has expressed concern that UK aid to Libya risks causing unintended harm to migrants, in a report published on 10 March. The report criticises ministers for apparently deciding on the funding plan without studying the human rights implications in a country struggling to contain its deteriorating political, economic and security situation.
“In Libya, where the operating environment severely constrains choices, the UK has identified some programming options with the potential to improve some of the conditions for migrants in detention,” it finds. “However, we are concerned about the risk that UK aid is contributing to a system that prevents refugees from reaching a place of safe asylum.”
The report concludes there is a risk that providing financial or material support – even neutral humanitarian support – to detention centres breaches the “do no harm” principle in aid, and so puts asylum seekers at risk. The report discloses that government officials acknowledge the legitimacy of these concerns in private but believe there is no alternative given government policy and the deep security crisis in Libya.
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