Immigrants of Libya

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, March 23, 2011
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After the 1969's revolution, Libya witnessed a massive influx of foreign workers, primarily invited to take part in rebuilding Libya. Many of these workers came from Tunisia (construction workers and labour), Egypt (teachers), Palestine (teachers), Yugoslavia and Bulgaria (doctors and nurses).

Then after Libya's call for pan-African unity and a common currency, a second wave of immigrants, estimated at one million workers, began to arrive in late 1990s, mainly from other neighbouring African countries like Sudan, Niger, Chad and Mali.

High Libyan wages for unskilled workers, which reached nearly $300 a month, were also attracting a large number of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa and from Asia.

It was reported that this wave of legal immigrants eventually led to other waves of illegal immigrants, and soon afterwards Libya became a transit route for organised criminals who smuggle illegal immigrants into Libya and then from Libya into Europe via Sicily and Italy. One of the main smuggling routes was the 800 miles desert route between Niger and Libya, via the cities of Agadez and Timbuktu.

With the increase in Libyan unemployment (currently stands at about 35%) and the spread of prostitution and heavy drugs, which never exited in Libya before, many Libyans began to have a second thought about immigration, and thus through the local committees they influenced the General People's Committee, the GPC, which enforces the will of the Libyan people, to react and order a crackdown on the employment of foreign illegal workers in the year 2000, and began a wave of mass deportation of illegal immigrants who had no official visas.

As a result, tens of thousands of Nigerians, Ghanaians, Chadians, and many more from Niger, Gambia and Sudan were deported. The total number of illegal workers before the wave of deportation reached approximately 1.5 million worker; while the number of legal workers is estimated at about 3/4 (three quarters) of a million worker.

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