Footage of African migrants on sale in Libya has prompted widespread outrage, underscoring the power of images in commanding the world’s attention. But while it is easy enough to condemn slavery, European and African leaders have refrained from speaking openly about the political calculations that give rise to it.
EU Refugee Crisis
Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders in 2015 gave Africa a more prominent place in her foreign policy. Now, as Germany partners with African countries in a bid to stem migration flows, she’s being accused of helping exacerbate the very conditions that cause people to flee in the first place.
As people continue to migrate—and die—by crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat, it is time to reflect on what has gone wrong. European Union policies on migration, from anti-smuggling efforts to deterrence policies, have failed to take into consideration the voices of the people making the perilous journey by sea.