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    African illegal migrants wait to receive medial assistance after being rescued by coastal guards on a port in Tripoli, Libya.

    IOM Reveals Slave Markets Operate in Southwestern Libya

    © AP Photo / Mohamed Ben Khalifa
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    The report of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) showed that there are slave markets in Northern Africa, in which hundreds of African migrants and refugees bound for Libya are being sold.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday about the existence of slave markets in Northern Africa, in which hundreds of African migrants and refugees bound for Libya are being sold.

    The report emerged amid the rescue of a number of sub-Saharan migrants after they had been sold and held captive for months in slave markets in Sabha in southwestern Libya.

    "Over the past few days, I have discussed these stories with several who told me horrible stories. They all confirmed the risks of been sold as slaves in squares or garages in Sabha, either by their drivers or by locals who recruit the migrants for daily jobs in town, often in construction, and later, instead of paying them, sell their victims to new buyers. Some migrants – mostly Nigerians, Ghanaians and Gambians – are forced to work for the kidnappers/slave traders as guards in the ransom houses or in the ‘market’ itself," an IOM Niger staffer said as quoted in the report.

    The African captives, in particular, are being forced to call their relatives and request that they pay for their release, the IOM said citing a witness.

    According to the IOM, the staff in Libya has managed to gain access to several detention centers where migrants who fall into the hands of smugglers face systematic malnutrition, sexual abuse and even murder.

    Lybia serves as one of the main transit points for African migrants seeking passage to Europe to escape violence and poverty in their native homelands.

    Related:

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    IOM Sets Up Medical Clinics on Libya's Coast to Treat Migrants Rescued at Sea
    Over 80 Migrants Missing After Boat Sinks off Libyan Coast – IOM
    Tags:
    slavery, refugees, International Organization of Migration (IOM), Libya
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