Why more unaccompanied minors are leaving their countries
Migration to and from Libya has always been important, even before the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The current state of the country has not stopped the influx of more migrants, most especially unaccompanied minors, in search of a better life.
According to a study released by the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF), “Thousands of African children flee to Italy across the Mediterranean Sea facing abuse and violence in Libya and most of them go alone and unprepared for Europe.” The main entry points into Libya have not changed. Refugees and unaccompanied migrants from East Africa usually cross the Sudanese border south-east of Kufra, while those from West and Central Africa mostly arrive from Niger to the south of Sebha.
The study revealed how the majority of Africa’s child migrants leave home without their parents’ knowledge – often due to domestic violence or family disputes – and do not aim to go to Europe, but plan to find work in nearby countries. But due to the violence, harassment or aggression in the hands of adults at the detention camps in Libya, they are forced to extend their journeys to Europe.