“Migrants in Libya are suffering consistent and widespread abuse, including arbitrary detention, forced labour, rape and torture, a United Nations report said on Tuesday.
Record numbers of migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, have been trying to reach Europe via Libya, usually in flimsy inflatable boats provided by smugglers.
Armed groups have taken effective control of official detention centres for migrants amid the political chaos that now reigns in Libya and they also run their own centres, competing and cooperating with criminal gangs and smugglers.
“The situation of migrants in Libya is a human rights crisis. The breakdown in the justice system has led to a state of impunity, in which armed groups, criminal gangs, smugglers and traffickers control the flow of migrants through the country,” the U.N. report said.
“The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has also received credible information that some members of state institutions and some local officials have participated in the smuggling and trafficking process,” it added.”