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MEDirections is delighted to share the second Policy Brief from our Libya Initiative’s mentorship of junior Libyan analysts. 

This initiative aims at making deeper, field-based analysis of ongoing developments in Libya available to policy-makers inside and outside Libya. For more information, see

Please click here for the English version and here for the Arabic one.

Local Specificities of Migration in Libya: Challenges and Solutions
Abdulrahman al-Arabi

Although the number of migrants attempting to illegally cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe decreased in mid-2017, current policies aimed at curbing flows do not address local concerns and challenges, and are therefore unlikely to prove successful in the mid- to long-term.
This fieldwork-based research paper analyses migrant smuggling networks in Libya at the local level to answer the question: what policy responses could result in a sustainable reduction of illegal migration to and through Libya?
By analysing the very different profiles of smuggling networks in Libya’s southern, central and coastal regions, particularly in terms of the actors involved and their connections to wider society, Abdulrahman al-Arabi suggests possible entry points for more successful long-term policies.
Keywords: Libya; illegal migration; smuggling networks; EU policies; stabilisation; development.


Who Are We?
The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) at the European University Institute (EUI) established the MIDDLE EAST DIRECTIONS (MEDirections) Programme in 2016. MEDirections is a continuation of the Mediterranean Programme, which was launched in 1999. The Mediterranean Programme put the EUI at the forefront of the Euro-Mediterranean research dialogue between 1999 and 2013, and MEDirections aspires to build on this reputation to become an international reference point for research on the Middle East and North Africa Region. Its themes encompass socio-political, economic and religious trends and transformations.
The programme's interim director is Brigid Laffan, working with the programme’s senior scientific advisor, Olivier Roy. Its research team is a multidisciplinary pool of researchers with diversified backgrounds, and a vast network of contacts in the countries covered, all with extensive fieldwork experience. To learn more about MEDirections, visit our website:
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