17:05 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Migrants wait to be rescued from a sinking dingey off the Libyan coasal town of Zawiyah, east of the capital, on March 20, 2017, as they attempted to cross from the Mediterranean to Europe.

    Oxfam Urges EU to Help Libyan Migrants Instead of Strengthening Border Controls

    © AFP 2019 / Abdullah ELGAMOUDI
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    A UK-based confederation of charity organizations for alleviating poverty, Oxfam, urged the European governments on Thursday to treat Libyan migrants in a more legal, fair, and in a protective way instead of toughening the opportunities to enter Europe.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) EU interior ministers are expected to meet in the Estonian capital of Tallinn later in the day planning to increase cooperation with Libya in order to stop migrants from entering Europe and Italy in particular.

    "Libya is a fragile state that needs peace and security… The EU must provide humanitarian support and any announced security initiatives must aim to better protect people, especially the most vulnerable groups including migrants … Cooperation with Libya as a way to stop people from reaching Europe only risks exposing these people to even more intensive suffering and even death, and deals a serious blow to core European values," Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns Natalia Alonso said, as quoted in the statement.

    Additionally, Oxfam urged EU and Italian authorities to clarify the rules of so-called "hotspots" for newly-arriving migrants to ensure respect for human rights and international standards there.

    In early February, Italy signed a memorandum of intent in the sphere of combating illegal migration in Libya with the country's UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). The document provides the development of cooperation in the fight against human smuggling, strengthening border control and preventing illegal crossing.

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    migrants, Oxfam, European Union, Libya
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