Pope Francis called upon Libya to shut down the detention camps where refugees fleeing their countries are kept.
Pope Francis noted that in the migrant detention camps, refugees and asylum seekers are subjected to torture and slavery, and their rights violated by their oppressors.
Pope Francis made his remarks at the Vatican before a group of refugees that were taken to Italy from a transit camp in Lesbos Island, in Greece.
The Pope, known for his defense for refugees and campaigning against human slavery said it was time the world stopped giving a deaf ear to the asylum seekers, who include women and children.
“Our brothers and sisters are undergoing torture and slavery in detention camps some preferring to die at sea than to endure slow death in detention, yet we all fail to hear their cries for help,” said Pope Francis.
Thousands of people are said to flee their countries for many reasons including constant wars, to try and get to Europe through the Mediterranean, but they end up in Libya where they are locked in migrants’ camps while some die at sea.
According to the United Nation (UN), it is estimated that more than 5,000 people, including the youth and children from Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan have been trapped in detention centers of the war-stricken North African country.
“More than 50,000 people fleeing their countries because of wars and poverty remain in Libya in their attempt to reach Europe,” stated an earlier UN report.
In Libya, they are trapped by a network of the militia (Three were arrested in September) who run detention centers, and others are sold as slaves or into prostitution.
It is reported that already, more than 1,100 migrants have died from the torture they are subjected to, which includes forced labour and being beaten, while some died at sea.
Pope Francis, while speaking at the Vatican, unveiled a tattered life jacket that presumably was used by an unknown refugee who drowned at sea, and advised that all possible solutions be employed in an effort to shut down Libyan detention camps and evacuation of refugees.
“We need to be seriously committed to emptying detention camps in Libya, and blocking the boats is not one of the solutions as that very action leaves asylum seekers at the mercies of human traffickers,” said the pope.