Libya, migration and slave auctions: wake-up call for human rights-based policies?

Last week, Libya and the humanitarian crisis was on the agenda of the DEVE and AFET committee meetings. The recent broadcast of images of slave auctions in Libya - refugees and migrants being sold for forced labour – have provoked new waves of indignation. Slave auctions are unfortunately one of the many forms of abuse and ill-treatment migrants or refugees face in their attempt to reach Europe that current policies are unable to counteract.

In February this year, SOLIDAR, together with over 70 NGOs, sent a letter to European leaders to express concerns about the direction of the EU-Libya agreement aimed at stopping migratory movements through Libya.

SOLIDAR repeats that EU investment (€46 million programme) to support border management in Libya is not an appropriate response to the human rights violations of many refugees and migrants. The EU should stop applying a security-oriented approach to development and migration issues. Such policies only exacerbate the arrest and detention of migrants in Libya and increase exposure to severe human rights abuses - while giving more space to human traffickers and smugglers. One the one side, Libya needs real support to achieve stability and sustainable development, while on the other, sound human rights-based policies tackling migration issues must be formulated based on prior impact assessments.


© Photo: Ismail Zetouny/Reuters retrieved from The Guardian.