The United Nations has said it plans to move up to 10,000 illegal migrants from Libya in 2018 in a bid to relieve the plight of thousands stranded in deteriorating conditions in detention centers there.
“This week we are going to send out of Libya 350 refugees, until the end of January we will send out at least 1000,” Reuters quotes Roberto Mignone, chief mission of the U.N. refugee agency, to say.
“In 2018 we are planning to send out of Libya between 5,000 to 10,000 refugees. We give priority to women, children, elderly, disabled, persons who suffered very seriously.”
Libya is the most preferred departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
The country’s political instability created a void that people smugglers have taken advantage of.
Even with thousands stranded in detention centers in the North African country, there were shocking revelations in November of cases of slave auctions and human rights abuses.
A CNN report showed migrants being sold off in an undisclosed location for as little as US$400.
The report sparked worldwide outrage, with world leaders asking the UN to ensure perpetrators of the injustices are found and made to answer for their crimes.
The UN now says it will also talk to some European countries to take in some of the refugees.