For migrants and refugees fleeing adversity and egregious human rights abuse in Libya, the Central Mediterranean Sea is the only way to reach safety. Victims and survivors of the world’s deadliest migration route today widely share their stories of fear, suffering and hope in the latest publication from Human Rights at Sea which has now been translated into French and German.

In partnership with maritime-humanitarian organisation SOS MEDITERRANEEIn Search of Safe Haven’ was first published in December 2021 offering a powerful account of personal testimonies of individuals who have endured unimaginable abuse. 

Human Rights at Sea and SOS MEDITERRANEE have made the original English publication available in French and German in a concerted and joint effort to reach a wider audience in times where current European policies on migration and asylum seek to legitimise pushbacks at sea borders and continue cooperation with Libyan authorities despite clear evidence of human rights abuse.  

Meantime, migrants and refugees remain trapped in Libya held in squalid detention centres suffering daily from torture, starvation and sexual abuse at the mercy of internal gangs and Libyan militias.

HRAS Comment 

“These powerful and often disturbing testimonies of people who have endured systematic abuse and torture in Libya have now been translated in to French and German in a deliberate effort to reach a wider audience in Europe and around the World.  One month into 2022, people continue to die at sea while others are pulled back by the EU-funded Libyan Coast Guard. These testimonies bear witness to unimaginable atrocities.

“We urgently need safe and legal pathways for the thousands of people trapped in Libya who are now in need of immediate evacuation and international protection.”


“The new year has so far seen the tragedy in the central Mediterranean continue with no solution in sight. 82 people have already lost their lives in the central Mediterranean in the first month of 2022 alone. Almost 1,500 people were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and forcibly returned to Libya. More than 800 people were rescued by humanitarian search and rescue organisations. “In Search of Safe Haven” is therefore, sadly, as relevant as ever. The stories of survivors shared in this report are just a glimpse into the unimaginable hardship that thousands trapped in Libya and attempting to flee across the central Mediterranean continue to face. To make these testimonies accessible to a wider audience across and beyond Europe is a chance to give some of these people a voice and to make their stories known.”