Living On The Edge: The everyday life of migrant women in Libya - The Libya INGO forum
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Living On The Edge: The everyday life of migrant women in Libya


This briefing paper looks at the daily life of migrant women in Libya. Based on data collected by the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism (4Mi), in-depth interviews with migrants in Libya and Italy1 and secondary sources, this report aims at increasing the understanding of the factors that primarily affect the everyday life of a migrant woman in Libya.

While some general figures on migration in Libya do exist, they often struggle to have solid foundations, as flows in and out of Libya – considered by Libyan authorities to be “poorly controlled and not well known”2 before the crisis – have been increasingly challenging to monitor in the post-crisis security situation, especially when clandestine. In this context, migrant women appear even more difficult to access, as different travel arrangements and living conditions faced in the country make them less visible to observers.3 Living conditions of migrant4 women in Libya are therefore difficult to investigate.

This briefing paper addresses the need for a better understanding of these conditions by investigating how migrant women are perceived in the country and assessing their access to services and how their legal status influences this access. The data collected by 4Mi shows that the daily life and opportunities are not only shaped by legal status but also by personal attributes that influence the way a migrant woman is perceived by the Libyan communities. Women with irregular status risk abuses and dire living conditions in detention, but also a secluded life when not in detention. Their limited access to services is navigated through specific coping strategies that tend to increase their invisibility in the public sphere.

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