CNN recorded footage of men being sold for $400 at a nighttime auction in Libya. Refugees, fleeing war and poverty back home, are being abused and auctioned off as slaves – a shocking danger facing migrants and refugees in Libya. They are coming from countries like Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Sudan and Somalia. Libya is the main transit hub for refugees and migrants attempting to reach southern Europe by sea. It has been reported that hundreds of people are being auctioned in modern day slave markets and sold publicly in Libya for as little as $400. A bit more for women who can be put in the sex trade. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, human trafficking and people smuggling has become a booming trade.
The United Nations report titled “A Deadly Journey for Children”, which was released on Tuesday, said a total of 25,846 children – most of them unaccompanied – crossed from North Africa to Italy using the Mediterranean route in 2016.
Moreover, nearly half of the 122 women and children interviewed reported sexual abuse and aggression during migration – often multiple times and in multiple locations.
Women and children were often arrested at the Libyan border where they experienced abuse, extortion and gender-based violence. Sexual violence was widespread and systemic at crossings and checkpoints.
Men were often threatened or killed if they intervened to prevent sexual violence, and women were often expected to provide sexual services or cash in exchange for crossing the Libyan border. Children were often placed in cells together with adult detainees, which increased the risk of abuse, according to the UNICEF report.
The Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe is known as the world’s deadliest and most dangerous migrant routes for children and women. This route is mostly controlled by smugglers, traffickers.
Nigerians based in Libya, also sell their fellow countrymen. More Nigerians are repatriated by the International Organisation for Migration with the backing of the European Union that have retrieved 1,295 from Libya in November alone.
Since the start of 2017, IOM-facilitated repatriation has brought back 5,578 Nigerian migrants, who were stuck in and outside prisons across Libya.