ISBN 9789956553129
Pages 826
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2023
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Enslaved: Trapped and Trafficked in Digital Black Holes

Human Trafficking Trajectories to Libya

edited by Mirjam van Reisen, Munyaradzi Mawere, Klara Smits, Morgane Wirtz

Eritrean refugees are being trafficked and enslaved in Libya, where they are tortured to force relatives to pay a ransom for their release. Labelled with a digital code, they are moved along in the possession of the traffickers through a series of ‘black holes’, in which their access to digital technologies and connectivity is highly controlled. They are tortured, abused, extorted and subjected to sexual violence. Many die along the way. If they make it to the Mediterranean Sea, they risk being intercepted and returned to Libya or dying at sea. Over the period of this study (2017–21), it is conservatively estimated that at least 200,000 men, women and children have fallen victim to human trafficking for ransom in Libya, and the cumulative value of this trade for that period is estimated at over 1 billion USD. This detailed ethnographic study identifies the routes, modus operandi, organisation, and key actors involved in the human trafficking for ransom of refugees and migrants, who are desperately in need of protection. The book is part of the GAIC Research Network and African studies series published by Langaa RPCIG and makes an important contribution to the literature on human trafficking, migration studies, African studies, modern slavery, social protection and governance.

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About the Editors

Mirjam van Reisen

Mirjam van Reisen is Professor of ‘International Relations, Innovation and Care’ at Tilburg University, and Professor ‘Computing for Society’ at Leiden University.

Munyaradzi Mawere

Munyaradzi Mawere is a Professor in the Simon Muzenda School of Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology; a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology; a second Master’s Degree in Philosophy; a third Master’s Degree in Development Studies; BA (Hons) Degree in Philosophy; Certificate in Tertiary and Higher Learning; Certificate in Information Technology; and a Certificate in Diplomacy, Negotiation and Bargaining. He is an author of more than 50 books and over 200 academic publications straddling the following areas: poverty and development studies, African philosophy, cultural philosophy, democracy, politics of food production, humanitarianism and civil society organisations, urban anthropology, existential anthropology, environmental anthropology, society and politics, religion, decoloniality and African studies.

Klara Smits

Klara Smits is a PhD Student at Tilburg University, who specialises in Human Trafficking Trajectories from Eritrea to Libya.

Morgane Wirtz

Morgane Wirtz is a PhD Student at Tilburg University, studying Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Libya.