UNICEF’s Libya Country Office commissioned a needs assessment survey in 2016.

Key findings:

  1. Three quarters of the migrant children interviewed said they had experienced violence, harassment or aggression at the hands of adults.
  2. Nearly half the women interviewed reported suffering sexual violence or abuse during the journey.
  3. Most children and women indicated that they had to rely on smugglers leaving many in debt under ‘pay as you go’ arrangements and vulnerable to abuse, abduction and trafficking.
  4. Most of the children reported verbal or emotional abuse, while about half had suffered beating or other physical abuse. Girls reported a higher incidence of abuse than boys.
  5. Several migrant children also said they did not have access to adequate food while on the way to Libya.
  6. Women held in detention centres in western Libya, accessed by UNICEF, reported harsh conditions such as poor nutrition and sanitation, significant overcrowding and a lack of access to health care and legal assistance
  7. Most of the children and women said they had expected to spend extended periods working in Libya to pay for the next leg of the journey – either back to their home countries or to destinations in Europe.
  8. Although most of the married women (representing three quarters of those interviewed) brought at least one child with them, more children were left behind.