Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.
Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold.
Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.
Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 Nato-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
Hundreds of young sub-Saharan African men have been caught up in the so-called slave markets, according to the IOM report. Women, too, were bought by private Libyan clients and brought to homes where they were forced to be sex slaves, the witness said.
The IOM’s chief of mission for Libya, Othman Belbeisi, told the BBC that those sold into slavery found themselves priced according to their abilities.
“Apparently they don’t have money and their families cannot pay the ransom, so they are being sold to get at least a minimum benefit from that,” he said.
“The price is definitely different depending on your qualifications, for example if you can do painting or tiles or some specialised work then the price gets higher.”