Libya flood: The devastation of an Egyptian village 560 miles away - BBC News
Jobless and desperate, Egyptians risk all in perilous Libya | Reuters
Egypt's Poorest Risk Death for Promise of Work in Libya
Libya flood: The devastation of an Egyptian village 560 miles away
Why illegal Egyptian migrants to Europe outnumber those from other countries : Goats and Soda : NPR
Refworld | 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Libya
What are the economic factors contributing to the spike in illegal migration from Egypt?
The economic factors contributing to the spike in illegal migration from Egypt are multifaceted. One key factor is the high unemployment rate and limited job opportunities in Egypt, particularly among the youth. With over half of Egypt’s population under the age of 25, the lack of employment options has created a sense of hopelessness and desperation. The 2011 uprising in Egypt was fueled in part by anger over joblessness, and since then, the economic situation has only worsened, making migration a more appealing option for many young Egyptians. Another factor is the political and social unrest in Egypt, which has deterred foreign investors and tourists. The decline in job opportunities has further exacerbated the economic challenges faced by young Egyptians, pushing them to seek work in neighboring countries like Libya.
What steps is the Egyptian government taking to combat illegal migration and provide job opportunities?
The Egyptian government is taking several steps to combat illegal migration and provide job opportunities for its citizens. One of the key initiatives is investing in regions like Minya, where impoverished villages like Al-Our are located. The government aims to lower the unemployment rate to 10% by 2020 and has announced infrastructure projects that are expected to create job opportunities. Additionally, the government is cracking down on illegal migration and strengthening laws against traffickers. Campaigns to discourage men from leaving and provide job opportunities in their hometowns are also being launched. However, it is important to note that these efforts have not yet reached all the affected villages, and more needs to be done to address the root economic issues that are driving illegal migration.
What challenges do young Egyptians face when seeking work in Libya?
Young Egyptians face several challenges when seeking work in Libya. Firstly, there is the issue of personal safety and security. Libya is currently in a state of lawlessness, with armed groups battling for control and kidnappings of foreigners becoming all too common. This puts young Egyptians at great risk as they navigate through a dangerous environment in search of employment. Another challenge is the lack of proper infrastructure and job prospects in their own villages. Many young Egyptians come from impoverished regions where basic amenities and job opportunities are scarce. As a result, they are compelled to seek work in Libya, where employment seems more abundant. Lastly, the religious minority status of some young Egyptians, particularly Christians, puts them at even greater risk as extremist groups target religious minorities. These challenges highlight the desperate circumstances faced by young Egyptians and the need for comprehensive solutions to address their economic and social needs.
In a small village in the impoverished region of Beni Suef, Egypt, a dire situation has unfolded. Locals claim that thousands of young men have left the village and traveled to Libya in search of work. Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics reports that over 60% of the village's population lives in poverty, making it no surprise that these young men are willing to risk everything for a shot at a better life.
The journey to Libya is not an easy one. Desperate young Egyptians, facing high unemployment rates and limited job opportunities at home, are turning to Libya as a source of employment. However, Libya itself is in a state of lawlessness, with armed groups battling for control and kidnappings of foreigners becoming all too common. Despite the risks, these young Egyptians are willing to brave the dangers in the hope of securing a stable income.
The economic situation in Egypt has exacerbated the issue. Unemployment, especially among the country's youth, is a major challenge. Over half of Egypt's population is under 25 years old, and the 2011 uprising was fueled in part by anger over joblessness. Under President Sisi's rule, the difficulty of affording a home and getting married has increased, further straining the already tense economic climate.
Political and social unrest in Egypt has deterred foreign investors and tourists, causing a decline in job opportunities. The unemployment rate has climbed from 8.9% to 13%, leaving many young Egyptians with limited prospects. It is no wonder that thousands are drawn to the construction industry in Libya, where opportunities seem more abundant.
The village of Al-Our, from which many of these young men hail, lacks basic infrastructure and job prospects. Cars with Libyan license plates can often be seen outside Al-Our, a testament to the number of villagers seeking work in Libya. The Christian faith of the kidnapped Egyptians puts them at even greater risk, as extremist groups target religious minorities.
The Egyptian government recognizes the severity of the issue and plans to invest in regions like Minya, where Al-Our is located. However, these efforts have not yet reached the village, leaving its residents without hope for finding jobs. The government aims to lower unemployment to 10% by 2020 and has announced infrastructure projects that are expected to create job opportunities.
Despite the dangers and the pleas of their families, young Egyptians continue to buy tickets to Libya in the hope of finding work. Many resort to borrowing money or selling their possessions to pay smugglers to facilitate their journey, risking their lives and falling victim to human trafficking.
The situation is not unique to this village or this region. Thousands of men are disappearing from Egypt's poor rural villages, leaving their families behind and calling from neighboring Libya to ask for money to pay smugglers. The increase in Egyptians leaving the country can be attributed to the plummeting economy and rising inflation, which have made it increasingly difficult for individuals to make ends meet.
Smugglers prey on the vulnerability of these desperate individuals, promising a better life in Europe. However, the reality is far from what they are promised. Migrants face abuse and danger on their journey, with many dying or being abandoned along the way. Mahmoud Ibrahim, a young man from a poor village, disappeared and drowned in a shipwreck, leaving his family devastated.
Facebook pages are filled with photos of missing Egyptians, desperate for any information about their loved ones. The economic factors contributing to this spike in illegal migration from Egypt cannot be ignored, but the government is taking steps to combat it. Egypt is cracking down on illegal migration and strengthening laws against traffickers. Campaigns are being launched to discourage men from leaving and provide job opportunities in their hometowns.
Neighboring Libya acts as a source for traffickers, luring migrants through networks in Egypt. Survivors of shipwrecks often face legal troubles and are charged as part of smuggling networks. Families are left to borrow money and sell their belongings to pay smugglers for their loved ones' dangerous journeys.
The situation in Libya itself is dire. The country serves as a destination and transit point for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia who are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Migrants typically seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers, or as a transit point en route to Europe. However, fraudulent recruitment practices, confiscation of identity documents, nonpayment of wages, and debt bondage are common issues faced by migrant workers in the construction sector.
The internal unrest in Libya has only worsened the conditions for foreign workers, with some becoming victims of human trafficking. Joint naval patrols have decreased the number of migrants being smuggled to Malta and Italy, but those who do make the journey complain of poor treatment and a lack of efforts to identify trafficking victims.
The Government of Libya, however, has not fully complied with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Libyan government has failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses or to protect victims. Legislation prohibiting all forms of trafficking, increased law enforcement efforts, and standard procedures for identifying victims are urgently needed.
The journey to Libya may seem like a beacon of hope for young Egyptians seeking work, but the reality is far more complicated. The economic challenges and limited opportunities in Egypt, combined with the perils of working in a lawless country, create a desperate situation. The government's efforts to combat illegal migration and provide job opportunities are crucial for addressing this issue, but there is still a long way to go.
It is time for the international community to recognize the risks and difficulties faced by these young Egyptians and to lend their support in finding sustainable solutions. Until then, the story of young Egyptians seeking work in Libya remains one of desperation and hope in the face of adversity.