Home » Migrants Stranded in Tunisia: UN’s Urgent Call for Humanitarian Aid and Protection

Migrants Stranded in Tunisia: UN’s Urgent Call for Humanitarian Aid and Protection

Madiha Dakir

Two UN agencies express grave concern over the alarming situation of hundreds of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Tunisia. These individuals find themselves stranded in dire conditions, displaced to remote regions near the borders with Libya and Algeria.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have jointly issued a statement, urgently emphasizing the need to provide essential humanitarian aid while seeking appropriate and humane solutions.

The stranded group includes women, some of whom are pregnant, and children. They endure isolation in the desert, facing extreme temperatures, and lacking access to shelter, food, or water, as reported by both organizations.

The UNHCR and IOM express deep sadness at reports of loss of life within the group and extend their heartfelt condolences to the affected families and communities.

Saving lives and ensuring the safety of those stranded are the top priorities, insist the UNHCR and IOM, emphasizing the immediate need to cease this tragedy.

Many of these individuals were displaced from Sfax due to recent unrest in the city, while others were moved from various urban centers across Tunisia.

The efforts of the Tunisian and Libyan Red Crescent in delivering humanitarian aid to hundreds of people in border areas are commendable. Urgent search and rescue efforts are necessary to aid those still stranded on both sides of the border, and a swift resolution to this situation is crucial.

Additionally, international protection must be provided to those in need. This includes identifying individuals requiring asylum and facilitating their application process. Special attention should be given to vulnerable migrants, such as trafficking victims and unaccompanied children, directing them to appropriate services.

The UNHCR and IOM stress the fundamental importance of respecting the human rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in accordance with national and international law. Ensuring access to territory and safety for newcomers in need of international protection is essential, in line with international obligations.

The UNHCR and IOM urge all concerned countries to uphold their international legal obligations towards migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Both agencies stand ready to assist authorities in resolving this situation humanely and with full respect for rights. Furthermore, they are committed to developing a sustainable and comprehensive approach to migration and asylum management.

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