The pheasant-tailed jacana of southeast Asia is not only possibly the most spectacular of the jacanas, it is also unique in its behaviour. Most jacanas are sedentary birds, staying in one location throughout the year. Pheasant-tailed jacanas at the northern part of their range, however, will breed in southern China and the Himalayas, then winter in southern India and southeast Asia. This makes them the only migratory jacanas.
Migrants from West Africa are being openly traded in “public slave markets” across Libya.
As a departure point for refugees trying to get to Europe, migrants arriving in Libya from sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable due to a lack of money and little in the way of documentation.
Survivors have told the International Organization for Migration
(IOM) how there are slave markets and private prisons all over Libya.
Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies, said: “The situation
is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is
a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”
One survivor from
Senegal spoke of how he was brought by smugglers across Niger in a bus
to the southern Libyan city of Sabha, where he was due to risk a boat
trip to Europe. When the middleman did not get his fee, the survivor was
put up for sale along with other passengers.
He was taken to a
prison where he worked without pay while the captors demanded 300,000
West African francs (about £380) before selling him on to a larger jail.
Livia Manante, an IOM officer based in Niger, said migrants would be
brought to a square where they were put up for sale.
Manante said: “IOM Italy has confirmed that this story is similar to many stories reported by migrants and collected at landing points in southern Italy, including the slave market reports.”
Those who did not get their ransom paid were often taken away and killed while others would die of hunger and disease in unsanitary conditions.
“If the number of migrants goes down, because of death or someone is ransomed, the kidnappers just go to the market and buy one,” Manente said.
The going rate for a migrant was between $200 (£160) and $500 (£400)
each, with many forced into captivity for months before they are freed
or sold on. So far this year more than 170 bodies have washed up on the
shores of the Mediterranean while the Libyan Coast Guard has also
rescued thousands more.
who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the
torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border,” said Leonard
Doyle, chief IOM spokesman in Geneva. “There they become commodities to
be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value.”
Across the frozen land, the flock of birds made its way through cottony clouds.
I made a bunch of paintings as part of the visual development for my Babayaga project. I like the idea of a land enshrouded with mystery, both quiet and intimidating. I like the idea of Babayaga exploring such a timeless and wild land with the Nameless Boy !