Majority of interviewed migrants would rather stay in Libya than reach Europe

  • Matteo Latorraca
  • 14.4.2017 12:14

According to a survey presented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 60% of 8,000 migrants interviewed between 2016 and 2017 considered Libya the final destination of their journey.

However, due to the ongoing conflict in the country, the chances for migrants to massively improve their conditions remain slight and many prefer to leave for Europe or go back to their native countries. This year an estimated 26,886 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy, over 7,000 more than during the same period in 2016. For those who decide to stay, their prospects are bleak – smuggler groups tend to sell them for ransom, forced labour or sexual exploitation. The European Union has tried to intervene to end these practices and illegal migration and promised Libya aid together with equipment and training for the UN-backed government, led by Fayez al-Sarraj. Italy signed a similar agreement in February, however, the Tripoli Appeals Court ruled to block it at the end of March based on the logic that al-Sarraj does not have the authority he claims and that the agreement has turned Libya into a centre for illegal immigration.

About author: Matteo Latorraca

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