As of 2014 almost 37,000 refugees and asylum seekers were registered with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Tripoli and Benghazi. The most recent violent outbreaks in the city of Tripoli have caused serious concerns about the safety of those seeking refuge in Libya. According to UNHCR, many of the refugees and asylum seekers are living in areas heavily damaged by fighting and unable to leave to safer areas.

When fighting erupted in Libya in 2011, more than 500,000 people had fled the country mostly to Tunisia and Egypt. Amongst those who fled the conflict was a major group of migrant workers from Egypt, Tunisia, Sub-Sahara African and Asia. As of the end of 2013, there were at least 59,400 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Libya as a result of the conflict.

Libya is traditionally both a host country as well as a point of transit. In 2014, some 77,000 migrants are believed to have departed by boat from Libya to Italy.

Legal situation:
  • Libya is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.