Turning a Blind Eye
When over one million refugees from Africa and the Middle East flowed into Europe in 2015, the EU took a tough stance on immigration. Today, however, we see the grim outcome of its policies.
Here’s what you need to know
For the past two years, the EU has spent nearly 100 million euros funding and training the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) to keep migrants out of Europe. In the past few months, however, accusations of serious human rights abuses on behalf of the LCG have become public.
A report that came out in the fall documented the treatment of migrants detained by the LCG, where issues of sexual violence, labor exploitation, torture and trafficking became explicitly clear.
Despite the EU knowing of such abuses, in addition to the Libyan government, money continues to flow into the hands of the LCG. Tens of thousands who could have their asylum claims assessed if they managed to reach European soil have instead been returned to Libya to spend months or years in for-profit detention centers where they are at the mercy of Libyan militias.
Foreign policy aside, this is hugely concerning from a humanitarian and human rights perspective, and the EU should be condemned for turning a blind eye.