Europe, desperate to stem the flow of refugees and migrants, has offered the fragile country help to stop migrants from leaving.
“Libyan forces intercepted over 2,000 migrants trying to flee by boat this week, as European leaders offered the country’s fragile new administration more help to turn back migrant boats.
Among them were four boats crammed with 500 people headed to Europe, including three children and eight pregnant women, that were intercepted by Libyan coastguards on Tuesday. They are now destined for Libya’s network of overcrowded, squalid detention centers, where human rights groups say violence is rampant and detention can stretch on indefinitely.
Libya’s efforts are potentially saving lives in the Mediterranean Sea, but they risk solving one problem by creating another.”
“At the very least, detained migrants should have their basic rights respected, and vulnerable people like children, pregnant women and the disabled must be freed, UN and IOM officials say.
But many migrants from war-torn countries cannot safely return home. Aid groups have urged European leaders to set up safe, legal passages for refugees to reach Europe so they won’t have to languish in jail or risk death at sea.
Until then, stopping boats in the Mediterranean will only shift the crisis southward.”