Children bound for Europe “sell their bodies – their only currency”

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A migrant gestures from behind the bars of a cell at a detention centre in Libya, Tuesday 31 January. Photo: UNICEF/UN052608/Romenzi

Disturbing new details have emerged of the abuse suffered by children travelling from North Africa to Europe on people trafficking routes through Libya.

The findings by UN Children’s Fund UNICEF show that three-quarters of youngsters said they had experienced violence, while one in two women and children reported sexual abuse – often many times in different locations.

Latest checks found well over 7,000 unaccompanied children in Libya, but UNICEF’s Afshan Khan tells Daniel Johnson that the real figure is likely to be three times higher.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

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