Reports of slave markets can be added to a ‘long list of outrages’ in Libya, warns UN

  • April 12, 2017

The latest reports of slave markets for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages (in Libya), warned the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Migration Agency.

Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies, said, “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

The IOM’s staff in Niger and Libya have documented shocking testimonies of trafficking victims from several African nations, including Nigeria, Ghana and the Gambia.

Mr. Abdiker added, “What we know is that migrants who fall into the hands of smugglers face systematic malnutrition, sexual abuse and even murder. Last year we learned 14 migrants died in a single month in one of those locations, just from disease and malnutrition. We are hearing about mass graves in the desert.”

Leonard Doyle, chief IOM spokesman in Geneva, said, “Migrants who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border. There they become commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.”

He added, “To get the message out across Africa about the dangers, we are recording the testimonies of migrants who have suffered and are spreading them across social media and on local FM radio. Tragically, the most credible messengers are migrants returning home with IOM help. Too often they are broken, brutalized and have been abused, often sexually. Their voices carry more weight than anyone else’s.”

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