Eighty-two percent of all the new migrants coming into Italy report violence at migrant camps and 90 percent report violence and torture on their way to Europe from smugglers and other migrants.
A new report released by the “Doctors for Human Rights” (MEDU) humanitarian non-governmental organization Tuesday has claimed that there is a shockingly high amount of violence in migrant camps in Italy, particularly in Sicily. The report, which interviewed migrants who had recently made the dangerous crossing across from North Africa to Europe, claims that 9 out of 10 migrants experience physical violence on their way to Europe reports Austria’s Kurier.
The situation in Sicily and the southern coast of the Italian mainland continues to deteriorate by the day. The numbers of migrants arriving from Libya and the North African coast has reached new records compared to the numbers last year. In the span of one week along over 15,000 migrants either arrived in Europe or were rescued off the Libyan coast.
The growing numbers, combined with a closure of the borders of Northern Italy have led to migrants being stuck in the southern European nation. Some experts are saying that the situation in Sicily could be leading to an enormous humanitarian disaster and the study from MEDU seems to back up those assertions.
Even worse than Italy, the camps in Libya are described as utterly horrific as migrants complain of widespread hunger, lack of water, and below third world levels of hygiene. Ninety per cent of migrants interviewed said they had seen fellow migrants beaten, murdered, and even tortured by other migrants or by people smugglers.
According to the report, the average length of a journey from Africa to Europe amounts to around 20 months with 14 of those months being spent waiting in Libya for an opportunity to try and cross the sea to Europe. Earlier this year analysts estimated that over 800,000 migrants from North and West Africa were waiting in the terrible conditions of the Libyan migrant camps for people smugglers to ship them across.
The conditions in the camps may be explained by the allegations that the Islamic State has been systematically taking over the people smuggling trade in Libya. The Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj warned that the terror group was infiltrating the migrant numbers in order to ship over its fighters and make money from the migrant crisis to fund their terror operations.
While some migrants, notably from Eritrea, claimed they were fleeing political persecution only ten percent reported making the trip for economic reasons. This number was countered earlier this year by the European Union border agency Frontex who claimed that the vast majority of west African migrants were coming to Europe purely to improve their lot in life, rather than escape any real danger.