Keyword: people smugglers

Suffocating jails, torture and forced labour: rescued migrants recount the hell of Libya

By
Rescued migrants on board the MV Lifeline shortly before disembarking in Malta. © Reuters Rescued migrants on board the MV Lifeline shortly before disembarking in Malta. © Reuters

Late in June, after days of diplomatic wrangling, 234 migrants rescued off the Libyan coast while attempting to reach Europe in flimsy dinghies were finally allowed to disembark in Malta after several countries agreed to receive quotas from the group. Earlier this month, 51 of them arrived in France. Mediapart travelled to Toulouse, where some were given provisional accommodation, to listen to the harrowing stories of their experiences in Libya, where black Africans are subject to endemic racism and many become the prey and prisoner of vicious local militias. “If an Arab catches you, he sells you,” said one of the survivors. “When you are black, you are a commodity, you’re bought and sold on.” Mathilde Mathieu reports. 

Vietnamese migrant-smugglers' camp is disused coalmine in N France

Anti-human trafficking ONGs have raised the alarm over a camp in northern France known as Vietnam City where, hidden in woodland on the site of an old coalmine, they say up to 100 Vietnamese migrants, some of them minors, are housed in poor conditions awaiting passage to the UK to work illegally in cannabis farms, nail bars and restaurants.