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In Pictures: European money spawns more misery for migrants in Libya

Updated : December 31, 2019 12:05 PM IST

When the European Union started funnelling millions of euros into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centers notorious for abuse and fight human trafficking.

Instead, the misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations.

Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat, north of Libyan coast. The United Nations is urging governments, businesses and others to “reboot
Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat, north of Libyan coast. The United Nations is urging governments, businesses and others to “reboot" the world's response to refugees as the number of people fleeing their homes rise along with hostility to migrants. The U.N. and Switzerland are hosting the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva Tuesday and Wednesday. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, file)
Abdullah, 25, a Sudanese migrant who tried crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, is reflected in a window as he uses his phone inside a Tunisian Red Crescent facility in Zarzis, southern Tunisia. The group of 47 in his first crossing from Tripoli over a year earlier had paid a uniformed Libyan and his cronies $127,000 in a mix of dollars, euros and Libyan dinars for the chance to leave their detention centre and cross in two boats. They were intercepted in a coast guard boat by the same uniformed Libyan, shaken down for their cell phones and more money, and tossed back into detention. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
Abdullah, 25, a Sudanese migrant who tried crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, is reflected in a window as he uses his phone inside a Tunisian Red Crescent facility in Zarzis, southern Tunisia. The group of 47 in his first crossing from Tripoli over a year earlier had paid a uniformed Libyan and his cronies $127,000 in a mix of dollars, euros and Libyan dinars for the chance to leave their detention centre and cross in two boats. They were intercepted in a coast guard boat by the same uniformed Libyan, shaken down for their cell phones and more money, and tossed back into detention. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)
Migrants rescued at sea by the NGOs SOS Mediterranée and Doctors Without Borders rest in the men's shelter aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. The misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and lucrative business, in part funded by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants rescued at sea by the NGOs SOS Mediterranée and Doctors Without Borders rest in the men's shelter aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. The misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and lucrative business, in part funded by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Rescued migrants are seated next to a coast guard boat in the city of Khoms, Libya, around 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Tripoli. When millions of euros started flowing from the European Union into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centres notorious for abuse and to stop human trafficking. That hasn’t happened. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed,File)
Rescued migrants are seated next to a coast guard boat in the city of Khoms, Libya, around 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Tripoli. When millions of euros started flowing from the European Union into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with EU promises to improve detention centres notorious for abuse and to stop human trafficking. That hasn’t happened. (AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed,File)
Eric Boakye, background centre wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, and other rescued migrants pray for Europe to grant them a place of safety as they wait aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Boakye, a Ghanian, was locked in the al-Nasr Martyrs centre in Libya twice, both times after he was intercepted at sea. The first time, his jailers simply took the money on him and set him free. He tried again to cross and was again picked up by the coast guard and returned to his jailers.(AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Eric Boakye, background centre wearing a hoodie sweatshirt, and other rescued migrants pray for Europe to grant them a place of safety as they wait aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Boakye, a Ghanian, was locked in the al-Nasr Martyrs centre in Libya twice, both times after he was intercepted at sea. The first time, his jailers simply took the money on him and set him free. He tried again to cross and was again picked up by the coast guard and returned to his jailers.(AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants on an overcrowded wooden boat wait to be rescued by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea.  (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants on an overcrowded wooden boat wait to be rescued by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea.  (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants cover themselves with blankets in a detention centre in the Abu Salim district on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya. They were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard while on a boat heading to Italy. When millions of euros started flowing from the European Union into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with promises to improve detention centres notorious for abuse and to stop human trafficking. That hasn’t happened. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)
Migrants cover themselves with blankets in a detention centre in the Abu Salim district on the outskirts of Tripoli, Libya. They were captured by the Libyan Coast Guard while on a boat heading to Italy. When millions of euros started flowing from the European Union into Libya to slow the tide of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, the money came with promises to improve detention centres notorious for abuse and to stop human trafficking. That hasn’t happened. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File)
Newborn baby Ange sleeps in a makeshift crib aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. His mother, Prudence Aimee, gave birth to her third son September 13, just three days before boarding an overcrowded wooden boat in the hope of getting her children out of war-torn Libya. Her husband was not able to join them and stayed behind. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Newborn baby Ange sleeps in a makeshift crib aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. His mother, Prudence Aimee, gave birth to her third son September 13, just three days before boarding an overcrowded wooden boat in the hope of getting her children out of war-torn Libya. Her husband was not able to join them and stayed behind. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Four-month-old Mira is held by her mother during a rescue by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Her mother says their family escaped Libya after their home was destroyed in the war. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Four-month-old Mira is held by her mother during a rescue by the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Her mother says their family escaped Libya after their home was destroyed in the war. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants rescued at sea rest in the men's shelter aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. The misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative business, in part funded by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Migrants rescued at sea rest in the men's shelter aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails in the Mediterranean Sea. The misery of migrants in Libya has spawned a thriving and highly lucrative business, in part funded by the EU and enabled by the United Nations, an Associated Press investigation has found. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Amidou from Cameroon touches his face aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails to Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. He was rescued from an overcrowded rubber boat north of Libya as he tried to cross to Europe. While in Libya he spent five weeks in various parts of the Zawiya detention centre where he says he was forced to unearth weapons in the desert. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Amidou from Cameroon touches his face aboard the Ocean Viking humanitarian ship as it sails to Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. He was rescued from an overcrowded rubber boat north of Libya as he tried to cross to Europe. While in Libya he spent five weeks in various parts of the Zawiya detention centre where he says he was forced to unearth weapons in the desert. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Prudence Aimee, 30, from Cameroon poses for a photo with her children, from left Ange, Wifrid, 1, and William, 3, aboard the humanitarian rescue ship Ocean Viking in Italian waters off the Sicilian town of Messina, southern Italy, hours before disembarking. Aimee left Cameroon in 2015, and when her family heard nothing from her for two years, they thought she was dead. But she was in detention and incommunicado. In nine months at Libya's Abu Salim detention centre, she saw “European Union milk” and diapers delivered by UN staff pilfered before they could reach migrant children, including her toddler son. Aimee herself would spend two days at a time without food or drink. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Prudence Aimee, 30, from Cameroon poses for a photo with her children, from left Ange, Wifrid, 1, and William, 3, aboard the humanitarian rescue ship Ocean Viking in Italian waters off the Sicilian town of Messina, southern Italy, hours before disembarking. Aimee left Cameroon in 2015, and when her family heard nothing from her for two years, they thought she was dead. But she was in detention and incommunicado. In nine months at Libya's Abu Salim detention centre, she saw “European Union milk” and diapers delivered by UN staff pilfered before they could reach migrant children, including her toddler son. Aimee herself would spend two days at a time without food or drink. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)
Published : December 31, 2019 12:05 PM IST
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