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    German Navy sailors surround a boat with more than 100 migrants near the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' during EUNAVFOR Med, also known as Operation Sophia, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    Mediterranean Migrants Offered Cash for Blood, Body Parts and Organs

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    A survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that 76 percent of almost 1,400 migrants and refugees interviewed had been aware of offers of money for blood, body parts and organs, as well as human trafficking and other exploitation.

    Approximately 5 percent of respondents also reported that they knew of instances, where people on the journey had been approached by someone offering cash in exchange for giving blood, organs or body parts. According to the majority, these instances took place in Libya and, to a lesser extent, in Egypt.

    The IOM said some migrants told interviewers that they had no choice but to give their blood, while being held captive. Indeed, 81 percent of those who witnessed these instances of coerced blood-giving, also reported of having been kept in a closed location against their will.

    A significant proportion of migrant and refugee respondents reported direct experiences of abuse, exploitation, or practices which may amount to human trafficking. Such experiences range from not receiving agreed payment for work or services, to being kidnapped and tortured. In the majority of cases experiences were reported to have happened in Libya. 

    Sexploitation of Minors

    "Two trends that we are extremely concerned about are the nearly 13,000 unaccompanied minors that have arrived in Italy this year and the 5,346 Nigerian women of which we estimate that 80 percent are trafficked," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome.

    "So far this year in Italy, IOM has already identified over 200 trafficked persons at the landing points, including underage girls, some as young as 13. We are also aware that the threats and violence perpetrated by traffickers against the families of the victims back in their country of origin is getting more and more devastating," he added.

    "The increase in the number of unaccompanied minors is also extremely concerning. These minors are highly vulnerable and at risk of trafficking for sexual exploitation and labor. Often they are totally unaware of this reality."

    ​"Protection systems throughout the migration process need to be strengthened in order to find solutions that are in the best interest of the child and that guarantee the rights that they have," he said.

    The survey was carried out in Italy between June 24 and August 3, 2016 among those who traveled along the Central Mediterranean Route connecting North Africa to Europe.

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    Tags:
    migrant boat, Sexual Exploitation, refugee crisis, migrant crisis, human trafficking, EU-Turkey migrant deal, European Commission, European Parliament, International Organization for Migration, European Union, Europe, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean Sea
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