Urgent Action Needed: US, EU, and International Bodies Must Address Migrant Crisis in Tunisia


The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) urgently calls upon the United States, European Union (EU), and international bodies to intervene and address the dire situation faced by migrants in Tunisia. The recent reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) reveal alarming abuses and the collective expulsion of African migrants and asylum seekers, including vulnerable individuals such as children and pregnant women. The gravity of this crisis demands immediate attention and concerted efforts to protect the rights and well-being of these vulnerable individuals.

Tunisia has become a crucial transit country for migrants and asylum seekers fleeing conflict, persecution, and economic hardship in their home countries. However, these individuals often encounter numerous obstacles, including discrimination, violence, and a lack of legal protections. The recent incidents of collective expulsion highlight the urgent need for international intervention to address this humanitarian crisis.

The HRW report sheds light on the disturbing practices employed by Tunisian security forces, including the collective expulsion of hundreds of African migrants and asylum seekers since July 2, 2023. These individuals, including children and pregnant women, have been forcibly removed and left in a remote, militarized buffer zone at the Tunisia-Libya border without due process. The testimonies provided by those affected reveal instances of violence, including beatings and sexual harassment, by authorities during arrests and expulsions.

The NYCFPA vehemently condemns the collective expulsions and abuses suffered by migrants in Tunisia. Such actions flagrantly violate international human rights law, including prohibitions against collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement. Tunisia’s obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as the UN and African Refugee Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, must be upheld to ensure the protection of individuals fleeing persecution and harm.

The NYCFPA calls upon the United States, European Union, and international bodies to take immediate action in response to the migrant crisis in Tunisia. It is imperative that these entities exert diplomatic pressure on the Tunisian government to halt the collective expulsions and ensure access to humanitarian assistance for those stranded at the Tunisia-Libya border.

Additionally, the US and EU should provide support and resources to enhance Tunisia’s capacity to handle the influx of migrants and asylum seekers, including establishing reception centers, strengthening asylum procedures, and providing assistance to vulnerable individuals. Technical expertise and financial aid can play a vital role in improving the protection of migrants’ rights and their overall well-being.

The NYCFPA urges international organizations, including the United Nations and the African Union Commission, to condemn the abusive expulsions and work collaboratively with Tunisia to address the needs of affected individuals. These organizations should exert pressure on the Tunisian government to conduct thorough investigations into the reported abuses and hold accountable those responsible for the violations.

Furthermore, diplomatic delegations of African countries should actively locate and evacuate their nationals who have been expelled to the Tunisia-Libya border and wish to voluntarily return to their countries of origin. The African Union Commission should also take a strong stance in demanding immediate assistance and support for affected Africans.

In conclusion, the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs demands immediate and decisive action from the United States, European Union, and international bodies to address the dire situation faced by migrants in Tunisia. The collective expulsions, abuses, and the desperate conditions at the Tunisia-Libya border demand urgent intervention to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of these vulnerable individuals.

By working together and holding the Tunisian government accountable, we can pave the way for a comprehensive and rights-based approach to migration that upholds the principles of international law and respects the humanity of all individuals seeking refuge and a better future. The time to act is now, and we cannot afford to ignore the suffering and rights violations occurring at the borders of Tunisia.

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