Tags: refugees | report | abuse | libya

Refugees Report: Abuse of Women, Children Common in Libya

Image: Refugees Report: Abuse of Women, Children Common in Libya

A report by UNICEF said women and children refugees fleeing Africa were being beaten, raped and starved in in Libya. (Aprescindere/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 09:09 AM

A new refugees report charged that women and children were suffering abuse on their long journey from conflicts in Africa to Europe.

The report by the United Nations children agency UNICEF said women and children were being beaten, raped and starved in "living hellholes" in Libya, according to The Guardian. More than 181,000 refugees and migrant, including 25,800 unaccompanied children, arrived in Italy from a Mediterranean smuggling route through Libya, the newspaper said.

Thousands of others, though, never survive the trip to Europe.

"It is not only a risky route taken by desperate people, but also a billion-dollar business route controlled by criminal networks," the UNICEF report said. "It is called the Central Mediterranean Migration Route. It is among the deadliest journeys in the world for children. A lack of safe and legal alternatives means they have no option but to use it."

According to the report, three-quarters of the children interviewed said they experience violence, harassment, and aggression from adults over them. Half of the women interviewed said they were sexually assaulted along their journey to Europe.

Most of the women and children said they were dependent on the smugglers over the course of their journey, leaving them vulnerable to such abuse and trafficking, the report said.

"The results of this rapid assessment demand action," Justin Forsyth, deputy executive director of UNICEF said, according to The Guardian. "We can't have a situation where children and women disappear into a hellhole. They are being sexually assaulted, abused, exploited and killed."

UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe called the interviews from the refugees and migrants in the study "truly surprising and terrifying," according to Al Jazeera.

"We have access to some of the detention centers in Libya, but a great majority of migrant children in that country are still in the shadows," Crowe said, according to Al Jazeera. "… We need to work on finding a solution to the root causes of the problem and we need to do more to support children at every step of the way."

The survey was conducted on the ground the International Organization for Cooperation and Emergency Aid with support from Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, according to UNICEF.

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A new refugees report charged that women and children were suffering abuse on their long journey from conflicts in Africa to Europe.
refugees, report, abuse, libya
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2017-09-01
Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017 09:09 AM
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