Der Report von UNHCR und Miuxed Migration Center wurde heute veröffentlicht.

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At the end of May, 30 people were murdered in the town of Mizdah, south of Tripoli, allegedly by traffickers. These were among the latest in a long series of deaths along the route from West Africa or the East and Horn of Africa to Libya. At least 68 refugees or migrants are known to have died along the route this year alone. As refugees and migrants travel along the Central Mediterranean route to Libya, many continue to be subjected to horrific violence at multiple points along the way, as the testimonies in this report show, even before any attempt to cross the sea to Europe. It remains one of the deadliest land crossings in the world.

This report draws on data collected by the Mixed Migration Centre’s 4Mi monitors along the route to map the places where refugees interviewed in 2018 and 2019 most frequently reported deaths, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), physical violence, and kidnappings occurred. It illustrates how refugees and migrants using the route face a series of risks including as they cross into eastern Sudan, and when crossing the Sahara Desert, and then again in multiple places in Libya. Similarly, those traveling through West Africa reported multiple incidents of physical violence, SGBV, as well as deaths at various points. Refugees and migrants have reported being subjected to brutal violence, including being burnt with hot oil, melted plastic, or heated metal objects, being electrocuted, tied in stress positions, and experiencing and witnessing repeated sexual violence, often in the context of ransom demands. UNHCR staff and partners continue to witness the severe impact these abuses have had on the mental health of many men, women, and children.

At present, there is still no way to accurately determine the number of deaths along the route each year. Many people continue to die in the Sahara Desert and their deaths are usually not officially recorded, while many others die of sickness and vehicle accidents, as well as violence while traveling through parts of West Africa. These deaths are rarely recorded aside from in survey data, such as that collected by 4Mi monitors. While 4Mi data does not record the date a death or incident of abuse occurred, a calculation of when each respondent started their travel indicates that almost 1,400 of the over 2,200 deaths reported by respondents likely occurred in 2018 and 2019. This, together with information from other sources, suggests that at a minimum, there was an average of at least 72 deaths each month.

A high proportion of those reported to 4Mi monitors appeared directly related to crime, including negligence by smugglers as well as deaths in captivity. While many deaths and abuses during the crossing of the Sahara continue to be reported, other danger spots for refugees and migrants according to the data include Sabha, Kufra, and Qatrun in southern Libya, the smuggling hub of Bani Walid, southeast of Tripoli and several places along the West African section of the route, including Bamako and Agadez. While smugglers were reported to be responsible for most incidents of SGBV along the route, security forces, police or military personnel were reported to be primarily responsible for the incidents of physical violence, mostly in West Africa.

Despite the multitude of risks refugees and migrants face, people rescued or intercepted at sea continue to be disembarked in Libya, which UNHCR and others have repeatedly stated is not a port of safety. From there, most are transferred to detention centres, where many suffer dire conditions and some are at risk of again falling prey to smugglers and traffickers. In Libya, and elsewhere along the route, there are insufficient mechanisms in place at present to identify survivors of abuses and provide them with protection. Measures such as the identification of local safety networks, including safe houses and support services for survivors of SGBV and other abuses, need to urgently be put in place in key locations along the route. In addition, more support is needed to help refugees integrate in the countries to which they have fled and greater access is needed to safe and legal pathways, including resettlement and family reunification, to reduce the need for dangerous journeys.


Bericht DW 29.07.20

Bericht Der Spiegel 29.07.20

taz 30.07.20  taz (2) 30.07.20

‘On this journey, no one cares if you live or die’: Abuse, protection, and justice along routes between East and West Africa and Africa’s Mediterranean coast

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