Human Rights Watch called on the European Union to take the humanitarian situation in Libya seriously on Saturday, ahead of its upcoming summit with the African Union in Ivory Coast.
The EU has pledged hundreds of millions of euros to the Khartoum Process – a multinational effort to block immigrants in the Horn of Africa from reaching Europe.
The Khartoum Process, according to HRW official Jehanne Henry, provides the Sudanese people with a mix of development and humanitarian aid, but also supports controversial border controls to block migrant-smuggling.
Henry said that next week’s AU-EU summit presents an opportunity for Europe to renew its commitment to putting human rights at the centre of its work, including in its response to migration.
In this light, she criticised the EU and US response to migration issues, claiming that EU-backed border control forces support the Rapid Support Forces, which is responsible for committing atrocities in Darfur and aligns itself with migrants-smugglers.
Migrants in Sudan are vulnerable to a range of abuses, including rape, detention and imprisonment, and, as recently revealed by CNN, slavery.
They can be arrested, imprisoned, tortured and deported without due process and without transparency, in addition to facing extortion and other forms of exploitation.