INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS:
Captivity, Migration, and Power in Libya
In this article, we investigate abuse, captivity, and human trafficking along routes of irregular migration in Libya after the reign of Muammar Gaddafi. We argue that the systematic exploitation of migrants financially benefits competing actors in intra-state conflicts and terrorist organizations with global ambitions. Through a macro to micro analysis informed by a corpus of investigative reports and survivor testimony from 2011 to 2019, we map sites of captivity, facility types, and the conditions of abuse. We establish that the treatment of detainees across both official and illicit channels constitutes conditions of human trafficking, gender-based violence, and enslavement. Decentralized mechanisms of detainment directly benefit militant, criminal, and terrorist actors vying for power. This realization compels us to consider the implications of outsourcing migration control against the backdrop of verified human rights abuse, human trafficking, counterterrorism concerns, and global insecurity.