Thursday, June 07, 2018

Migrant Crisis Doesn't End

The rise of anti-immigration political parties in nations from Italy to Slovenia and Europe-wide efforts to stem migration is fuelling human trafficking in Libya where a growing number of migrants are being trapped in detention centres and sold into slavery, aid officials told a conference on modern-day slavery.  Migrants in Libya are struggling to leave and are falling into the hands of traffickers, several experts said.

"It is more difficult (for migrants) to leave Libya now ... and the traffickers have to monetise their investments," said U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) senior official Vincent Cochetel. "They sell people, they lease them, they rent them," the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Inma Vazquez, representative to the EU and NATO for global aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). "We are seeing people physically and mentally broken - with burns, scars on their backs and legs broken in several parts."

Pierre Vimont, a former head of the European Union's foreign service, said the number of migrants trapped in Libya is likely to increase further as populism sweeps across Europe in countries including Italy, Austria and Germany.  Vimont explained, "But the problem with their reaction is that they are behind the curve, reacting too late. They don't know how to act." 

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