Increasing numbers of African migrants traveling through Libya in order to get to smugglers’ boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea, speak of being traded in ‘’slave markets’’ in Libya, as well as being held for ransom, forced labour or sexual exploitation.
Throughout their journey, they are at risk of being attacked by armed gangs and smuggling networks that often force them to pay extra money in exchange for being allowed to continue. The Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime estimates that migrant smuggling is worth up to $323 million a year in Libya.
Despite the dangers of trying to reach Europe, thousands continue to take the risk and fall prey to traffickers and smugglers and are ultimately exploited, a far cry from their dreams of a better life in Europe.
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.