Tag Archives: Libya

Libya Feature | Black African Migrants

The Resurgence of Black Enslavement in Libya


Source: CNN/YouTube (November 2017)

As a byproduct of ongoing trans-Mediterranean mass migration by sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees, human trafficking in Libya has surged as smugglers extort and exploit migrants in search of passage to Europe. Reports of imprisonment, forced labor, human markets, financial extortion, physical abuse, and the denial of access to basic necessities like food and water involving black African migrants tell the tale of lawlessness and extreme vulnerability in the war-torn country.

With the E.U. pushing the largely disempowered Libyan government to crack down on migrants using its coast as a point of departure for Europe, poorly run detention centers have sprung up with little oversight to prevent migrants from attempting the trans-Mediterranean passage (where more than 10,000 have died since 2014). Corruption among detention officials, inertia in the repatriation process, and poor international coordination have resulted in some of the detained being leased out for day labor or sold to work on farms and in businesses instead of returned to their countries of origin. Global outrage has led to emergency meetings in multiple international organizations, but a long-term solution to the crisis remains elusive.

Read

Slavery in Libya: Life inside a container” (Al Jazeera | January 2018)

Migrant slavery in Libya: Nigerians tell of being used as slaves” (BBC News | January 2018)

IOM Learns of ‘Slave Market’ Conditions Endangering Migrants in North Africa” (International Organization for Migration | April 2017)

Watch

Libya slavery scandal overshadows EU-Africa summit (Al Jazeera | November 2017)

‘Slave markets’ in Libya trap migrants heading for Europe (euronewsvia YouTube | April 2017)

Libya’s Migrant Trade (VICE News | September 2015)

Interregional News | Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

Italy rescues almost 2,500 asylum-seekers in Mediterranean over three days as trips and deaths surge
  • The Italian Coast Guard pulled 1,100 from nine vessels in one day following the rescue of 1,360 in the previous two days as migrant deaths are up by more than 330% over 2016.
  • More than 10,700 have crossed the Mediterranean in the first months of 2017, an increase of a third over 2016.
  • Recently, Italy and the U.N. agreed to fund migrant camps, Coast Guard training, and anti-smuggling efforts in Libya to stem the flow of migrants into southern Europe, a move criticized by humanitarian groups because of Libya’s political insecurity and harsh treatment of migrants.
Read

Italy says 2,500 boat migrants rescued at sea in three days” (Reuters | February 2017)
Migrant Fatalities Surge on Libya-Italy Mediterranean Route” (Voice of America | February 2017)
Can E.U. Shift Migrant Crisis to the Source? In Libya, the Odds Are Long” (The New York Times | February 2017)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via Voice of America)

Interregional News | Refugees & Migrants

At least 700 migrants and refugees die in last week along trans-Mediterranean route
  • The UNHCR concluded from survivor interviews that some 550 of 670 died after a boat capsized on its way to Italy from Libya, with other scattered wrecks throughout the week leading to at least 150 other deaths.
  • As warmer temperatures have created more favorable travel conditions, an estimated 13-14,000 have been rescued over the last week during Italian naval operations in the Mediterranean.
  • The U.N. believes most of those making the trek have been sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees caught up in smuggling networks.

Read more:
Over 700 Migrants Died Trying to Reach Italy in Past Week, U.N. Says” (The New York Times)
More than 700 feared dead in recent Mediterranean crossings” (AP)
Refugee crisis: 13,000 people rescued in Mediterranean in one week” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Marina Militare, via The New York Times)

Citations: Black in North Africa

Citations
Black in North Africa

Like the color it purports to name, the social label black absorbs, integrates, and obscures distinct but interrelated phenomena: a skin tone of context-dependent shade, a racial classification from bygone times, an ethnic designation, a class marker, an immigration status, an ancestry, a cultural heritage, and an index of historical wrongs still fresh in memory. Black has often served as shorthand for of African descent, but perhaps nowhere most complicates that substitution than a region on the continent itself: North Africa. Continue reading Citations: Black in North Africa

Southern Europe & North Africa News | Migrants & Refugees

As many as 500 may have died in migrant boat sinking in Mediterranean
  • The U.N. refugee agency indicated as many as 500 may have died after a boat carrying mostly African migrants and refugees capsized between Libya and Italy, according to interviews with 41 survivors.
  • If verified, the incident would be the largest migrant tragedy on record since the April 2015 sinking that killed more than 800 migrants.
  • Smugglers have returned to dangerous trans-Mediterranean routes between Libya and Italy following a recent deal between the E.U. and Turkey to stem migration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Read more:
Survivors report massive loss of life in latest Mediterranean Sea tragedy” (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees press release)
Hundreds feared dead in migrant shipwreck off Libya” (The Guardian)
500 May Have Died in Sinking of Migrant Boat in Mediterranean, U.N. Says” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Nikitas Kotsiaris/EPA, via The New York Times)

Greece & Libya News | Migrants & Refugees

January sees record number of migrant deaths in eastern Mediterranean
  • To date, there have been 218 deaths as migrants have crossed the Aegean Sea to reach Greek shores, a number not reached until mid-September in 2015.
  • The spike in deaths comes as the overall number of migrants and refugees attempting to reach Europe has reached its lowest point since June 2015.
  • The migration shift occurs as a changing of the guard has taken place among people-smugglers in North Africa, with the brief calm in traffic from Libya having recently given way to a fresh, more lethal round.

Read more:
Mediterranean deaths soar as people-smugglers get crueler: IOM” (Reuters)
Mapped: The Refugee Crisis in the Aegean Sea” (Foreign Policy)
Protests at Greek border after more migrants drown in Aegean Sea” (AP, via The Chicago Tribune)

(Image Credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Libya News | Tunisians

More than 50 Tunisians return home from Libya following abduction
  • Security sources reported 55 Tunisians were released and returned home following coordination with Libyan officials.
  • The Tunisians had been abducted from northwest Libya in retaliation for the arrest of a Libyan official on a UN-coordinated visit in Tunisia.
  • Tunisians in Libya have been vulnerable in the country’s instability, with 10 having been abducted from the Tunisian consulate before being released.

Read more:
Dozens of Tunisians freed in Libya a day after being kidnapped” (Reuters)
Dozens of Tunisian workers held by gunmen in Libya, families say” (Gulf News)