Refugees International report: “Hell On Earth”: Abuses Against Refugees and Migrants Trying to Reach Europe from Libya

A new report from Refugees International by Izza Leghtas:  “…..Whether they went to Libya to work or just as a place of transit on their way to safety and protection in Europe, migrants and refugees who have spent weeks, months or years in Libya face abuses that include arbitrary detention, torture, unlawful killings, rape, forced labor, kidnapping, and even slavery. Many are held by smugglers for months or detained in official or semi-official detention centers in inhumane conditions where even their most basic rights as human beings are denied. Libya itself has been in turmoil since 2011, with three different governments competing for power and militias and criminal networks operating across the country. More than 60,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe between January 1 and May 24, 2017, with the vast majority landing in Italy. Eager to stem the flow of people using this route, the European Union (EU) and its member states have deployed measures which include training and equipping the Libyan coast guard and promoting returns to people’s countries of origin. As the violence and chaos in Libya continue, the EU must ensure that its actions do not result in refugees and migrants being returned to torture or other forms of ill-treatment in Libya. The EU must make rescue at sea a priority. The EU should also provide solutions for people in need of international protection, including safe and legal paths to protection in Europe while pushing Libya to fully ensure all human rights protections for refugees and migrants in that country…..”

Full report here.

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