By John Lee.
The US State Department has classified Libya is a "Special Case" in human trafficking for the fifth consecutive year.
In its latest Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), it says that the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has struggled to govern large swaths of Libyan territory, as it did not exercise control in several parts of the country. It continues:
"The judicial system was not fully functioning, as courts in major cities throughout the country have not been operational since 2014. Violence heightened during the reporting period, as conflict escalated between the Tripoli-based GNA and the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), which has sought to establish a rival government in eastern Libya and initiated an offensive to seize the capital in April 2019. The conflict was further enabled by financial or military contributions from regional states, with Turkey supporting the GNA and Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt supporting the LNA.
"Since April 2019, the LNA's sustained offensive on Tripoli resulted in at least 356 civilian deaths and 329 civilian injuries and approximately 150,000 persons newly displaced from Tripoli. Extra-legal armed groups continued to fill a security vacuum across the country; such groups varied widely in their make-up and the extent to which they were under the direction of state authorities. These disparate groups committed various human rights abuses, including unlawful killings. Impunity for those committing abuses against civilians was a pervasive problem.
"During the reporting period, there were continued reports that criminal networks, militia groups, government officials, and private employers exploited migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in sex and labor trafficking. Endemic corruption and militias' influence over government ministries contributed to the GNA's inability to effectively address trafficking."
(Source: US State Dept)