As part of an integrated Libya-Tunisia programme, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and its demining department the Danish Demining Group (DDG) have worked in Libya since August 2011, in conjunction with the revolution against the 42-year regime of Col. Gaddafi. DRC and DDG work on a range of issues which affect the lives of conflict-affected populations including Libyans, asylum seekers and migrants.
Some problems, such as the widespread presence of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) stem from recent conflict during the 2011 Revolution and its aftermath. Others, such as the complex situation of migrants and asylum seekers who have been passing through to Libya seek asylum in different countries. Libya has for long been a main transit point for their departure.
During the long Gaddafi era, Libya was isolated and failed to adopt a number of key international conventions which would help guarantee safety and protection for its citizens and visitors living within its borders. Examples are the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the 1997 ‘Ottawa Treaty’ banning anti-personnel mines. DRC and DDG work to provide immediate protection to people whose rights to safety and dignity are threatened, but also to build durable protection mechanisms, qualified local capacities and supportive community structures. This is achieved by working with governmental bodies and local communities alike.
In Tripoli, DRC works with funding from UNHCR, ECHO, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation assist registered refugees and asylum seekers who seek refuge in Libya from conflict in the Middle East, Darfur, the Horn of Africa and elsewhere. DRC relies primarily on its local staff and Libyan partners to provide humanitarian assistance, protection monitoring and referral to other specialist agencies where needed.
With funding from EuropeAid, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, DDG works in Tripoli, in Sabha; the main city of southern Libya as well as other in locations in Southern Libya, to recreate safer environment for the locals where people can live free of the threats of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and support community safety interventions and Armed Violence Reduction (AVR).
DDG has established an institutional partnership with local demining organisation Free Fields Foundation (3F) to conduct ERW Risk Education and clearance in close coordination with the mandated national authority the Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC), the local authorities and local community based organisations.