The United Nations fact-finding mission on the human rights situation in Libya announced on Monday, March 27, 2023, that migrants stranded in this country and trying to head to Europe are subjected to sexual slavery, condemning it as a crime against humanity.
The mission expressed its deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Libya. In a statement issued on the occasion of the submission of its latest report, it concluded, “There are reasons to believe that the state security forces and armed militias have committed a wide range of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Investigators explained that these violations are being committed “against Libyans and migrants in all parts of Libya” in detention centers.
The mission documented and monitored many cases of arbitrary detention, murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, stressing that these practices are widespread in Libya.
In particular, it noted that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that sexual slavery, a crime against humanity, was committed against migrants.”
According to the mission, migrants are enslaved in official detention centers as well as in “secret prisons” where rape is committed, all of which constitute crimes against humanity.
The statement stressed that human trafficking, slavery, forced labour, imprisonment, extortion and smuggling of vulnerable migrants “generate large revenues for individuals, groups and official institutions, which encourages the continuation of violations.”
“Accountability is an urgent need to end this widespread impunity,” mission chief Mohamed Aujar said in the statement.
“We call on the Libyan authorities to expedite the development of an action plan for human rights, a roadmap for transitional justice that focuses on victims, and to hold all those responsible for human rights violations accountable,” he added.
The Human Rights Council established the mission in 2020 to investigate violations committed by all parties in Libya since 2016.
Since then, the mission has conducted more than 400 interviews and collected more than 2,800 pieces of information, including photos and videos.
It will provide its information to the International Criminal Court, including a list of individuals who could be held responsible for the violations, but also ask the United Nations to set up a new commission to continue the work of the investigation.