The following Channel 4 News footage shows torture at Lybian detention centres run with the financial support of the European Union.
EU Response to Migrant Crisis
The EU has struggled to formulate a comprehensive and fair response to the migrant crisis. Migrant, refugee and asylum seeker distribution varies significantly from state to state. Countries like Germany, Austria, the UK, France, Sweden, Greece, and Italy have seen the largest numbers. In contrast, Eastern European countries and smaller nations have only taken in few.
The June 2018 mini emergency summit on the migrant crisis failed to achieve tangible results. Both the EU’s own migrant redistribution plans and the UN’s arrangements only catered to a small number of people fleeing wars in Syria and Lybia. An EU-wide approach is lacking as individual countries continue to adhere to self-made rules.
What’s more, right-wing politicians have used the EU migrant crisis to increase votes and stir up tensions.
Torture at Lybian Detention Centres Nothing New
As part of its response to the migrant crisis, the EU has provided Turkey and Lybian with financial aid for migrant detention centres. The EU tasked both nations to intercept migrant boats and return them to shore to stop them progressing toward EU shores.
However, according to a Guardian report, NGOs had already warned of serious human rights abuses prior to the establishment of the centres. Amnesty International’s Director for Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme, Steve Valdez-Symonds, had expressed fears that the plans were likely to lead to
lengthy and indefinite detention …….. in potential breach of EU and international law and the convention on human rights. Steve Valdez-Symonds
Others predicted that the detention centres would become magnets for traffickers which is precisely what the Channel 4 News footage highlights. Because EU member states failed to accept migrants within a reasonable time frame, these detention centres have turned into overcrowded, long-term camps. Migrants experience squalid conditions, lacking basic supplies of clean water, food, medicines, and blankets.
According to the EU’s own audit, the abuse of unaccompanied minors is also staggering. Human rights abuses and deprivation of liberty are commonplace.
Torture at Lybian Detention Centres Highlights Need for EU-wide Response
It remains to be seen whether the release of this footage will make EU politicians redouble their efforts to implement an EU-wide response to the migrant crisis.