VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis denounced the “inhuman violence” waged against migrants, refugees and other displaced peoples in Libya, and called for an end to sending people back to unsafe countries.
“Once again, I call on the international community to keep its promises to seek common, concrete and lasting solutions for the management of migratory flows in Libya and throughout the Mediterranean,” he said after praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 24.
“We must put an end to the return of migrants to unsafe countries and give priority to saving lives at sea, with rescue devices and predictable disembarkation, guaranteeing them decent living conditions, alternatives to detention, regular migration routes and access to asylum procedures,” he said.
Pope Francis said that when people are turned away and forced back to Libya, they face real suffering because “there are real lagers there.”
The U.N. Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, recently called on the Libyan government to address the “dire situation” of asylum-seekers and refugees with a humane plan that respects their rights.