Latest modern slavery fight updates -

With 53 Dead, Libya Considers Shutting Migrant Detention Centers

  • Published on
    July 5, 2019
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking, Slavery In conflict
Hero Banner

An airstrike that targeted a migrant detention center in Libya may be the turning point for thousands of detained migrants and refugees stuck in the country.

With 53 people killed in the attack, the Libyan authorities are now considering releasing the 3,800 migrants being held and shutting the detention centers, which have linked to human trafficking, forced labor, and disappearances.

“We are currently discussing the option of closing the reception centres and freeing the illegal migrants out of concern for their safety,” interior minister Fathi Bashagha reportedly said in a meeting with UN humanitarian coordinator Maria Ribeiro.

The Independent reports:

The UN has warned for months that refugees and migrants should be evacuated from the conflict zone.

A brief it issued after Wednesday’s attack cited reports that guards protected the facility opened fire on some of the migrants while they were attempting to flee the site.

The Associated Press cited two of the migrants who survived the attack saying they had been forced by the armed group controlling the site to prepare weapons for the militia.

“As this horrific incident demonstrates, all individuals inside these centres are at imminent risk, as they are held against their will and have no means of seeking safety on their own,” the UN briefing said.

Libya has long been a transit point for refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean. Italy and other European countries responded by paying Libyan authorities to keep migrants from reaching European waters, and in turn returning them to Libya’s migrant detention centers infamous for abuse.

Despite global outrage over the airstrike, the UN Security Council failed to condemn the bombing due to protests from the United States.

This marks a change in White House policy in that the US is seemingly siding with Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Haftar is suspected to be behind the airstrike on the migrant detention center, and his backers are attempting to seize control of the capital from forces loyal to the UN-brokered Government of National Accord in Tripoli.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Rounded up and abandoned: Europe’s covert support of migrant atrocities

It is well documented that inhumane immigration policies are forcing migrants to take extremely risky routes on their journey to seek asylum in Europe and globally. However, a year-long investigation by the Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports, and a consortium of international media outlets uncovered that migrant lives are not just at risk due to sketchy channel crossings and being packed in the back of refrigerator trucks. To dissuade sub-Saharan

| Wednesday May 22, 2024

Read more