UN agencies have expressed concern over the disappearance of a Yemeni child refugee in Libya.

A joint statement issued on Sunday said: “The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Unicef Libya are deeply concerned about the disappearance of a Yemeni child, reported to have been abducted last week in Tripoli,” Xinhua news agency reported.

“Refugee and displaced children are exposed to various risks, and it is important that authorities and institutions mandated to ensure their well-being associate their efforts to ensure the protection of this vulnerable group of persons,” the statement said.

UNHCR and Unicef reiterated the gravity of this incident and the need for immediate action to ensure the safe release of the child.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a total of 12,794 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued so far this year.

Meanwhile, 190 of them have died and 487 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix has identified and located 348,372 internally displaced persons in Libya.

–IANS

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