Migrants sit at the Njila detention center in Tripoli, Libya.Credit: EPA/STR
Migrants sit at the Njila detention center in Tripoli, Libya.Credit: EPA/STR

Gabriella Bottani, a nun and the international coordinator of the anti-smuggling network Talitha Kum, has denounced ''extremely serious human rights violations in Libya, including torture, work exploitation, sexual abuse and murder.''

Gabriella Bottani, a nun and the international coordinator of Talitha Kum, a network fighting human trafficking formed by members of the clergy, which was created by UISG (international Union Superiors General) and USG (Union Superiors General). Bottani is celebrating Talitha Kum's tenth anniversary this year. She has denounced that ''in Libya, there are very serious violations of human rights, including torture, job exploitation, sexual abuse and murder.''

'We receive requests for support'

Bottani told journalists during a recent press conference to present the World Day against Trafficking in Persons that her organization is not present in Libya ''but we receive a growing number of requests for support by networks in the region of north-western Africa.'' 

Bottani added that many people are ''stranded there'' and, without the possibility of crossing the Mediterranean, they are struggling to go back home. While announcing the recent opening of a branch of Talitha Kum in Tunisia, the nun said many members of the organization have helped people who ''have experienced painful ordeals in Libya.''

Criminal organizations 'make recovery hard'

Asked how much of an impact organized crime has on trafficking, Bottani told the press conference that it is necessary to ''differentiate between human trafficking and the exploitation of migrants.'' She also said there are ''different realities'' connected to ''peculiarities that are also territorial.'' 

International criminal trafficking rings recruit their victims and make it hard for them to set themselves free, she said. In rural areas, instead, ''people are taken to the city to work as domestic slaves and for other forms of exploitation,'' she explained. She said it was still a crime, like the mafia-style methods used by traffickers, ''but with different characteristics compared to other forms of trafficking.''


 

More articles