Credits: Xchange Foundation


Female migrants run major risks to experience human rights violations than men, on the outward journey towards Libya, new research findings show.

According to the second part of the Xchange Foundation’s report investigating land migration routes from Sub-Saharan Africa, the survey team found that women were more likely to experience abuses as well as facing incarceration in detention centres.

While the large number of respondents were mentally unprepared to provide details on the ordeal of their journey, the survey team was able to identify that half (5 in 10) of the female respondents reported being sexually abused.  The perpetrators of this sexual violence were reported to be largely armed gangs along the routes and within the migrant ghettos themselves.

Sexual abuse was not gender exclusive.

A Togolese woman spoke of the horror of being raped within the Agadez migrant ghetto, saying that no one came to her aid because the perpetrator was armed. Male testimonies also depict very graphic images of how female travelers are treated by the smuggling gangs. A male migrant originating from Burkina Faso said that he witnessed, ‘a gangster who raped a female passenger in the middle of the desert and filled her vagina with sand’.


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